LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) – Since seconds count in emergencies, being prepared should be a priority. Lufkin's EMS Coordinator, Jimmy Ragsdale, says you should remain calm, collected and concise when you call 9-1-1.
"A lot of people [call and say] 'I'm on 59 there's a big wreck. Click. Don't hang up until dispatchers ask you to," said Ragsdale.
Dispatchers need information. For example, it took several calls from the scene of Tuesday's double fatality wreck on highway 69 before dispatchers knew exactly how many people were involved.
"We had information from the scene, what we didn't have is the number of patients initially as more people stopped and called we got that information," said Ragsdale.
If you happen to see a bad wreck - before you pick up the phone to call 9-1-1 - know where you are. Dispatchers and first responders say knowing the location of the call is the most important piece of information.
If it's a medical emergency, have a folder or tote bag already prepared with the patients medical history. Woodland Heights' E.R. nurse Cesar Lopez says that could really help doctors once you arrive at the hospital.
"Always good to have your medical information with you. Like your medical history," said Cesar Lopez.
Lopez says they want to know specifics like a patient's past surgeries, prescriptions and any allergies they have.
Ragsdale advises not moving the victim while you wait for help.
"If a car's on fire if you feel comfortable doing so move them out, but if there's no immediate hazards to the life of the patient keep them still, keep them calm," said Ragsdale.
If you're ready for an emergency you can remain calm too.