Know These 6 Things When Calling 911 in a Washington Emergency
Know These 6 Things When Calling 911 in Washington State
Have you ever had to call 911 for an emergency or an incident you witnessed?
Washington State Patrol Wants You to be Prepared
Just when you think it won't happen to you, either you are involved in an emergency or you will be witness to one and need to call 911 for help. When that happens, the adrenaline will kick in and you probably won't be thinking clearly unless you have some training. It happened to me about 6 months ago when I was first on the scene of a semi/truck head-on collision.
That is why the Washington State Patrol has some tips to help you remember the most important information in case you are in that situation. It is easy to forget important information the 911 operator will need in order to help as fast as they can.
The 6 Ws You Should Know
Washington State Patrol calls them the 6 Ws, or words that start with the letter W to help you to remember important information during an emergency.
1- Where is the Emergency?
It sounds trivial, but knowing the exact location is very important. Find a nearby street corner, an address, or even a milepost marker if you're on a highway. Be as detailed as you can about the location.
2- What is Happening?
WHAT happened? Is it a car crash? Did you witness a shooting or someone getting robbed? Be descriptive about the exact incident that made you call 911 in the first place.
3- When Did the Incident Happen?
Sometimes you will call while an emergency is happening, or maybe sometime after. The exact time is very important information to the 911 operator. One good tip is to quickly take a screenshot of your welcome screen on your phone so you have a picture of the exact time instead of a close guess.
4- Who is Involved?
The 911 operator will want to know exactly who is involved in the emergency. Are they a relative or a friend or are they a stranger? Names and descriptions of all people involved are important. Write names down or take quick pictures for description purposes later.
5- Are There Weapons Involved?
If there are weapons involved, you should probably mention that near the beginning of the call. Try and give good descriptions of the weapons or other information like how many shots were fired. That information is very important for keeping the responding officers safe.
The why would be any other extra information you might have while observing the incident you are reporting. Every situation is different but just be as honest and open about anything else you might know about the situation. You never know what small bit of information will help.