Emergency Preparedness Plan: Call Preparation
Today we are talking about Emergency Preparedness Plan: Call Preparation, a continuation of our Emergency Preparedness and Planning Series.
As with our previous posts related to Emergency Preparedness and Planning, this is a quick introduction about what to do in the event that you need to dial 911.
COT – Calm
We all know how scary it can be if you have to call 911 to get assistance in an emergency. Somehow, it seems especially scary if the person that you are calling about is someone whose care you are responsible for. Yet, when the stakes are high, that is the most important time to consider the ideas in COT.
In Emergency Preparedness Plan: COT Call Preparation,
The first letter stands for CALM.
When the stakes are high, that is the most important time to consider the ideas in COT. #Calm #Organize #Talk
If you are forced to call 911, keeping calm is important. First, try to ensure that the person is in a safe state. If you are performing CPR or they are not in a safe state, consider asking someone nearby to make the call. If they are in a relatively safe state, then try to ensure they are in a safe location. If you are by the side of the road, it might not be the safest area to have to call. You will be a little calmer naturally if you feel they are safe both in their physical state and location.
Last but not least, make sure you take 3 to 5 seconds to close your eyes and take a deep breath. Breath in and out and set your mind to being calm and ready to handle whatever comes next. We will assume you are as calm as you can be. Now what?
COT – Organized
When you are as calm as you can be, then it is time to quickly gather your thoughts. You will be asked the physical location and/or the cross roads you are near. Take a moment to gather those details, even if you have to ask someone else to get the details for you while you are on the phone.
In Emergency Preparedness Plan: COT Call Preparation, the second letter stands for ORGANIZE.
Also, you will need to tell them your phone number and a secondary phone number in the event that your phone battery dies. If you are using someone else’s phone to make the call, make sure to ask them their phone number before they go somewhere. It is possible that the 911 operators do have your number on caller identification, but in the event that they do not, having this information will make it easier for them to contact you.
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Last but not least, think about the situation and details that are important. What is the main diagnosis of the person you care for? Do they have high blood pressure or some other type of condition? What medications may they be on that might be important for the paramedic to know? This is a good time to mention you should consider having a medication list for anyone you care for with you at all times. This will make emergencies easier as well as doctor and pharmacy visits. Finally, why are you calling? Are they short of breath? Are they responding erratically?
Okay, so not that you have your wits about you, time to call.
What do you say?
COT – Talk
It is very important that you call as soon as you are able to in an emergency. The above suggestions are things that will most likely happen in a blink of an eye. Make sure to practice the COT steps as often as possible so you will not feel overwhelmed when the actual situation arises. You can do this when you are stuck at a stop light or every time you go to the pharmacy. If you work it into your normal routine, you will be calmer when/if it ever happens to you.
All of this practice and thinking ahead of time will be a huge help. You will most likely take less than one minute to get calm and organized. When you call, keep calm and identify yourself and your emergency.
The operator will prompt you with the questions they need answered. They will ask for things in a specific order and that is from years of practice. Allow them to lead the conversation, even though you are worried and scared.
They will most likely ask your phone number, location, and then details on the emergency and then provide instructions.
Once they have asked all of their questions,it is the time for you to ask questions. Do not hang up until they instruct you to do so. It is important that you listen to what they are saying.
In Emergency Preparedness Plan: COT Call Preparation,
The last letter stands for TALK.
Other Things To Think About
Remember that we all have very different situations depending on who we are caring for. Make sure to think about anything unique in your situation that they might need to know.
For example, if the person is paralyzed, consider mentioning this, as they might want to have an ambulance with transport available. Also, if the person has a first language other than English, is non-verbal and using assistive technology for communication, or is hearing or visually impaired. These are all things that might help the first responders help the person faster.
Coming up …
The intent of this emergency preparedness plan series is to educate you so you will feel confident in any emergency situation. The next post will help you thia about what contacts you might want to have readily available in the event of an emergency.
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All emergency planning details are adapted from the Emergency Preparedness Plan. MindLight CEO is a contributing author.
Disclaimer: This Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have.
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