The Wagener Fire Department has a passion to create an informed community prepared to handle any event that may occur to themselves, their neighbors, or those that serve their community.
Why do they ask me so many questions?
The call taker is required to ask many questions in order to give responders an accurate picture of your situation.It is important to understand that when an emergency is being reported, responders are usually already on the way while you are on the phone.
Emergency Medical Calls
When you call 9-1-1 to report a medical emergency, your call will be processed by a professional emergency call-taker with specialized training to deal with crises over the phone.This call taker will be able to provide real-time instruction in CPR, severe bleeding control, childbirth, as well as other lifesaving first aid techniques.
There are four universal questions that the call taker will ask in order to put their knowledge and experience to work for you quickly and effectively after your address and callback number has been verified.
What is the problem, tell me exactly what happened?
How old is the patient?
Is the patient conscious?
Is the patient breathing?
The call taker will then ask questions about the patient’s specific condition.This aids the dispatcher to determine if a paramedic (advanced life support) is needed and if the responders need to use lights and sirens.
Getting this critical information from you typically takes less than 30 seconds.In all cases, remember the most important thing you can do when calling 9-1-1 is to listen carefully and do exactly what the call taker asks you to do.
If you smell smoke or have a fire inside your house, leave your house immediately, close the door behind you but do not lock it. Go to your neighbor’s house or use your cell phone to call 9-1-1 once you’re safe and out of danger. Once you’re out of the house stay out, do not go back in for any reason.
You and your family should meet at a central location (like the mailbox) and be prepared to tell firefighters where any hazards or injured people are.
Just like EMS emergencies, the 9-1-1- call taker will ask a series of questions about the fire condition you are reporting.This will aid Firefighters and provide them with specific information to quickly assist you when they arrive on scene. 9-1-1 Dispatchers will want to know:
What is the address of the Emergency?
What exactly is burning?
Do you see flames or smoke?
Are there any injuries?
Children and 911
Remember to discuss with your children when and how to call 9-1-1. Teach them never call 9-1-1 to play a joke or call in a false alarm. Never refer to 9-1-1 as nine eleven because this phrase may confuse a child since there is no eleven on the telephone keypad.
Babysitters and 911
Make sure your home phone number, address and the nearest cross street is clearly posted for the babysitter to read from if needed. This is especially important when you drive the babysitter to and from your house, where they might not be familiar with the area.
Accidental calls to 911
If you accidentally call 911, do not hang up without talking to the dispatcher. Explain that you misdialed and did not mean to call 911. This will save the dispatcher some valuable time.
If you hang up without talking to the dispatcher, they will call you back. If they receive a busy signal, voice mail or no answer, they will dispatch a police officers to your house to verify that everything is all right.
Just for Kids:
When it comes to emergencies, it's important that children know what to do. These sites make learning about safety fun for the kids, parents, and whole family.
FEMA for Kids: www.ready.gov/kids
Sparky the Fire Dog: www.sparky.org
Smokey Kids: www.smokeybear.com/en/smokey-for-kids
How to Use 9-11: www.kidshealth.org/kid/watch/er/911.html
Yield to Emergency Response Vehicles:
When you see flashing Red and White Lights- please PULL OVER!!It will only take a few seconds - but in an emergency seconds count! A vehicle with flashing Red and White lights is our volunteer firefighters and EMS personnel responding to an emergency call.
Red and White Lights DO NOT give volunteers any special privileges. They are courtesy lights only. The RED/White light is to alert other drivers that we are on our way to an emergency call.It is up to other drivers to pull over and let us go by! It could give us the extra time needed to save a life or stop a fire before it is out of control.
Please practice Emergency Vehicle Response courtesy and HELP US HELP YOU!!
Did You Know:
South Carolina’s “Move Over” Statute
We all probably know that emergency responders, police officers and tow truck operators have a potentially dangerous job when they need to stop on the side of a busy road to help another driver–but many South Carolinians are breaking a traffic law designed to protect them without even realizing it.
The Move Over Law
Enacted in 2002, South Carolina’s “move over” law is designed to protect those that stop to help stranded or injured drivers alongside the road. How exactly does the law look to safeguard these hard-working professionals? The general guidelines of the law aim to have drivers either move over (as the law’s name implies) to avoid hitting any unseen rescue workers or slow down if moving over isn’t possible. When there are two lanes on a road traveling in the same direction, the law requires drivers to move to the lane away from the stopped emergency vehicle and personnel. In cases were moving over isn’t possible–either because there’s only a single lane in each direction or doing so wouldn’t be safe–drivers are to slow down by at least five miles per hour and keep an eye out for emergency personnel moving into their path. What counts as an emergency vehicle? A good rule of thumb is that any vehicle with flashing lights should be treated as one for purposes of this law. Police cruisers, fire trucks, ambulances and tow trucks are all covered by the law.
Penalties for Breaking the Law
The penalties for violating South Carolina’s “move over” statute can be significant. A simple violation of the law can result in a misdemeanor charge with a fine between $300 and $500. Of course, if you do strike and injure or kill an emergency responder or tow truck operator while violating the law, the penalties can be much more severe. Despite these penalties, South Carolina highway patrolmen cite this law as the one most broken by the state’s drivers.
The Hard Facts
The surprising fact is that all 50 states have some form of “move over” law, despite many drivers remaining completely unaware of their legal obligations as they approach a stopped emergency vehicle. What is more, these laws have been enacted for good reason. In 2016 alone, 71 paramedics and firefighters were struck while assisting stranded and injured drivers’ roadside, and 63 tow truck operators were killed by the side of the road in the same year. So, if the potential misdemeanor charge and fines aren’t enough to get you to slow down, remember these statistics and do your part to help protect the lives of emergency personnel.