Emergency Phone Numbers
What to do in an emergency
First aid is as easy as ABC – Airway, Breathing and Compressions. For your personal safety and to help you assess the seriousness of the situation, we suggest you put a DR first; that is, DR ABC. This acronym means:
Some signs to look for:
- D stands for Danger – always be aware of danger and ensure you do not put yourself in danger when going to the assistance of another person.
- R stands for Response – is the person conscious? Do they respond when you squeeze their shoulder and shout their name?
- A stands for Airway – clear the airway of any obstruction (for example, the tongue rolled back and blocking the airway, vomit or food) and keep it clear by placing the person on their side with their chin tilted back. This can be enough to save a person's life.
- B stands for Breaths– give 2 breaths if no signs of life (for example, not breathing normally, not responsive, or not moving). Tilt the head right back, pinch the nose and put your mouth over the person’s mouth. Breathe in until you see their chest rise. If signs of life are still absent after 2 breaths, start compressions.
- C stands for Compression – place the heel of one hand in the centre of their chest and your other hand on top. Press down firmly and smoothly (compressing to 1/3rd of their chest depth) 30 times. Administer 2 breaths. Keep going until medical assistance arrives
Where to get help
- Always call an ambulance in an emergency Tel. triple zero (000)
- Your doctor
- The emergency department of your nearest hospital
- National Relay Emergency Call Service (for text-based information over the phone) Tel.’106’
- First aid courses and kits – St John Ambulance Victoria Tel. (03) 9696 0000
- Australian Red Cross Tel. 1300 367 428
Checking Your Safety
In the event of an accident it is important to check your own safety and the immediate safety of others. If there is a car accident and there is petrol on the road there may be risk of fire. Other traffic in the area needs to be diverted around the accident to prevent any further accidents of injury. Ask if anyone in the vicinity has first aid or medical training. Do what you can and wait for expert emergency services workers to arrive. If someone is in an accident do not try and move them if they appear to have any back injuries.
If someone has harmed themselves intentionally get medical help immediately. If the person does not want to be helped or is likely to be violent then ring the police immediately. If the person is happy to go to hospital then it is best if you call an ambulance. At the hospital, after they have been physically checked, they will usually be assessed by a mental health professional. In big hospitals this person will probably be a psychiatrist.
Overdose of Drugs
If someone has taken an overdose of drugs or pills call an ambulance immediately. If you are not sure whether the amount they have taken is damaging you can ring poisons information on 131 126 from anywhere in Australia, for advice. Even if someone appears to be alright now, get help and advice. Often the damage from an overdose isn't immediately apparent.
If Someone Goes Missing
If someone you know has been very depressed and they go missing there could be a good reason to look for them. If you are concerned try to find out where they have gone. Even if you find them and everything is alright you can still let them know that you care and are concerned about their safety. If you cannot find them and fear for their safety ring your local police for assistance.
Anyone, at any time can be placed in an emergency. Learning some basic first aid techniques can help you cope and could mean the difference between life and death. It is a good idea to take a first aid course so that you can recognise an emergency and administer basic first aid until an ambulance arrives.