FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Questions about calling '911' and what happens after calling:
Questions on healthcare resources and tips:
A: No! It is better to be safe than
sorry, so when in doubt please call. We don't mind coming to help
you. If your situation turns out to not be an emergency we will be
just as happy about that as you are!
Q: Was I wrong to call 911?
Q: When I call 911 what information should I have available?
you call 911 a police dispatcher will ask you for your location, the
nature of the illness or injury, and the age and gender of the person
affected. Based on the nature of the illness or injury, the
dispatcher will ask more specific follow-up questions to determine what
resources your emergency requires. While our squad is
dispatched for any medical emergency, the paramedics may be dispatched
if the illness or injury is potentially life-threatening, and the fire
department and gas company will be dispatched if symptoms match those of
carbon monoxide poisoning.
If a "first responder" is available, help will arrive in about 2 to 5
minutes. A squad member who is a first responder is equipped with a
defibrillator, oxygen, and other tools and supplies to help assess and
treat patients. Bridgewater police officers are frequently
dispatched to area 911 calls and often are the first to arrive.
Many Bridgewater officers are trained EMTs and all are trained in first
aid. On average our duty crew arrives with the ambulance in about
11 minutes. The ambulance arrives more quickly at those places
closer to our squad building. Ambulance response time can also
depend on weather conditions and the time of day (response is usually
slower at night when crew members are asleep).
The number of people who come depends on the nature of the
emergency. If the emergency is potentially life-threatening, then a
lot of people may show up. Responders will likely include one or
more police officers, one or more squad first responders, the rescue
squad duty crew (usually 2 to 4 people), and the paramedics (usually 2
people). It may seem like a lot, but in a life-threatening
emergency there is a lot to do and it must be done quickly. More
responders help get the appropriate care rendered more quickly. If
the emergency is not life-threatening, fewer people will come to your
aid. In this case the responders typically will be only the squad
duty crew members and perhaps a Bridgewater police officer.
We aren't doctors. While we can treat some signs and symptoms, we
can't diagnose them to determine underlying causes and problems.
That is best done at a hospital. If you are unsure if you
need to go to a hospital, our recommendation will always be that
you should go. If you decide not to go, we will ask you to sign a
release form that states that you are refusing our offer of further
treatment and transport. Signing the release does not mean you
cannot call us again if your situation should recur or worsen. If
it does, call 911 again and we will return to help you.
A: We will transport you to the nearest appropriate facility.
What facility is appropriate mostly depends on the type and severity of
your illness or injury. For example, a patient with a serious
traumatic injury will be taken to the nearest trauma center, usually
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital, but for those in the northern
part of our coverage area it can be Morristown Memorial. These
trauma centers are the only area hospitals that have surgery teams
available on short notice. If a patient has a life-threatening
illness and their condition is unstable, we will most likely transport
to Somerset Medical Center because it is the nearest hospital and it
will be critically important to stabilize the patient. If a
patient is stable and does not have a serious traumatic injury we will
usually agree to transport to the patient's preferred area
hospital. By "area hospital", we mean Somerset Medical Center,
Morristown Memorial, Overlook, Saint Peter's, Robert Wood Johnson,
Muhlenberg, and Hunterdon Medical Center. Other hospitals take us
too far away from our coverage area.
Q: What is the number for poison control?
A: Throughout the United States the number for poison control is 1-800-222-1222.
bleeding is severe, call 911 to get help. The two main steps to
control bleeding are elevation and pressure. Elevation means
raising the part that is bleeding to above heart
level. Apply direct pressure to the bleeding area by placing a
sterile or at least clean dressing or towel over the area and
pushing down on the area. Elevation and pressure will control most
signs and symptoms of a heart attack vary from individual to individual
and can depend on age, sex, and other medical conditions. Some of
the more commonly experienced symptoms include intense prolonged chest
pain, a feeling of heaviness or pressure on the chest, unexplained
sweating and weakness, and unprovoked shortness of breath. If any
of these symptoms are present immediately call 911. Delaying the call for help can be fatal.
continue to fall in price and are relatively easy to use nowadays,
so the question is worth thinking about. For most families it is
probably an unnecessary expense. If someone in your household has
experienced heart problems and has a high risk of heart dysrhythmias,
chances are that person has an implanted defibrillator. Purchasing
an "automated external defibrillator" makes the most sense for places
where lots of people with unknown medical conditions visit. Public
places like airports, malls, stadiums, and schools are the best
candidates for automated external defibrillators. If you have a
business with lots of employees, customers or visitors, you should
consider purchasing a defibrillator. Make sure you and your
employees are trained in its use.