Staying safe: Calling for help

When we are partying, things do not always go as we intend. If you are partying at a club, event or venue, your best idea is to get the attention of an ACON Rover or DanceWize NSW volunteer, an event medical team member or a security guard.   

If you are partying at home, or at another location without a medical team on site and there is an emergency,  call 000 and ask for an ambulance, you won’t get into trouble.

When to call an ambulance 

  • When someone is unconscious and can't be woken
  • When someone is experiencing symptoms of a heart attack (chest pain; pain in the left upper arm, left shoulder, jaw; shortness of breath; cold sweats.
  • When someone is experiencing symptoms of a stroke (sudden numbness to the face or limbs, particularly on one side of the body: confusion, difficulty speaking or comprehending speech).
  • When someone has cut themselves, is bleeding heavily and the bleeding cannot be stopped.
  • When someone is hurting themselves or others (or trying to).

You might also consider calling an ambulance if you know someone has taken drugs and they are displaying the following signs and symptoms:

  • incoherence
  • profuse sweating
  • vomiting
  • breathing irregularly
  • inability to stand
  • seizures
  • Serotonin syndrome

How to call an ambulance   

In Australia, the number for ambulances is Triple Zero (000). This number is free to call 24 hours a day, seven days a week from any landline, mobile or pay phone. You can call if you do not have credit on your phone and you can call from a pay phone even if you do not have a coin.

When you call, an operator will ask you if you require the police, fire or ambulance. Ask for an ambulance. If in NSW, you will be transferred to an Ambulance NSW operator who will ask you questions about:

  • The situation,
  • Whether the person in need is conscious or not,
  • Whether the person is breathing,
  • Your location
  • The number that you are you are calling from

Be honest: Tell the operator what has happened, and answer their questions slowly and calmly. Ambulance officers are there to help, not to judge. Stay calm. Speak slowly and clearly. Stay on the phone and follow any instructions that you are given.

The operator may ask that you or someone else place the person in the recovery position.  While someone is on the phone to the ambulance, get someone else to put the person in the recovery position. This will help to clear their airways and facilitate breathing if they’re able.

Clear the area: Make sure there’s space around the person so that ambulance officers will be able to do their job without obstruction.

Know your rights: Police will only attend with the ambulance if they are concerned for the safety of the ambulance officers, or if someone has died. Read more about police attending the scene, and read about your rights on Fair Play. To reduce the chances of police attending, be calm and polite on the phone and take steps to reduce any background noise.

Read more about calling an ambulance, and preventing More information about safely taking drugs in private settings can be found at David Stuart’s Chemsex First Aid resource and on the DanceWize NSW website.

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