What to do in an emergency

If you’re in a situation where you or someone you know is in danger, it’s important that you first call emergency services. If the person you are with is unconscious, there are certain things you should look out for. Similarly, if someone has self-harmed, it's important to keep some additional things in mind.

Read this if:

  • You are hurt or injured
  • Someone else is hurt or injured
  • You or someone else has harmed themselves intentionally
  • You or someone you know has attempted suicide
phone call

Information emergency services might want to know

In an accident or emergency you need to assess the situation. If there is immediate danger that someone will be harmed or has been harmed seriously - call 000 (or 112 from a mobile) if you live in Australia. 

Some important emergency services include:

  • The location of the emergency including nearby landmarks
  • The telephone number from where the call is being made
  • What happened
  • How many people require assistance
  • Condition of the people
  • What assistance is being given

It’s important not to hang up the phone until the phone operator says so, as they may need to tell you more information.

If a person is unconscious

  • Do they respond in any way when you squeeze their ear lobe or shoulders?
  • Are they breathing? If not, you need to check their airways (mouth and nose) and begin mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.
  • Do they have a pulse? If not, you need to begin Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR). 

Once you have checked the above, call an ambulance on '000'. If you're unsure on how to do mouth-to-mouth or Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation, emergency services can instruct you over the phone.

If someone has self-harmed

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 on '000' (or 112 on a mobile) in Australia.

If the person is happy to go to hospital, then it is best if you call an ambulance on '000'
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. Check out the fact sheet all about health professionals here.

What can I do now?

  • Assess your personal safety before taking action.
  • Make sure to call emergency services for guidance.
  • Check out the fact sheets on the St John Ambulance Service website.
Last reviewed: 15 August, 2015
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  • Ben-RO    (506 days ago)

    Hey UnconshusI actually wrote to the Ambulance service of NSW to find this answer out for you! Here's a quick version of what they replied with. If you are over 16. You get to decide who gets told and who doesn't get told about being treated by an ambulance officer. If you are between the ages of 14 and 16 the same rules apply but the ambulance officer has to decide if you're capable of making that decision. If you tell them what your reasons are for not wanting your parents to know this will most likely help them decide. If you are 14 or under. The treating officer would normally tell your parents, but you can ask them not to and explain why, the ambulance officer can then decide not to tell your parents if it's appropriate. I hope that helps, feel free to keep chatting if you still have more questions!Ben

  • Unconshus    (518 days ago)

    What happens if you're under 16? Will the ambulance call your parents?