Calling in an Emergency
First and foremost, the 911 system is an outstanding system to get you help where-ever you may be. It will get you the Police, an ambulance, the Fire Department, or most any other emergency agency. The system engrains the 3 digit emergency number into all citizens who may otherwise not know who to call for help.
Its simplicity has resulted in the countless saving of lives everyday in the United States where a caller knew no other number for help.
But here in the East Meadow Fire District, as well as in many other Long Island Fire Districts, lies a “state of the art” Fire and EMS Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) center with some of the most innovative equipment, and well trained employees at the ready 24 hours 7 days a week.
From the early days of firefighters answering the ring of a wired phone, to the first home alert radios, to a series of advances in radio frequency voice pagers, and the future of text services, and cell phone apps, the emergency communications of the East Meadow Fire District has evolved in both time and technology.
Such a system based in our community can make a difference in the time it takes to alert your East Meadow Firefighters or Medical Technicians. For example when a call comes in through 911, it is routed through the Nassau County Fire Commission (Firecom) in Westbury.
Upon receipt, the Fire Communications Technician in-turn contacts the East Meadow Dispatch so the E.M.F.D. can be alerted. The receiver of this emergency call is actually the person you could have called directly, if you placed your call directly to the E.M.F.D. Hence, critical time saved.
Your East Meadow Volunteers boast some of the most respected and consistent response times in the Long Island Fire Service. In most cases Fire Chiefs are at your door within 3 -5 minutes of your call, quickly followed by the big rigs. Predominantly, when a question is raised of a response time to an emergency, it is later found that the caller did not call the E.M.F.D. directly.
Two of the most common thoughts that come to the mind of our emergency responders a:
- That fires can double in size every 30 to 60 seconds depending on the material burning and the phase of fire. Thus any time saved no doubt makes a difference during a serious fire. In EMS situations, similar time lost can make the difference when a loved one is taken ill.
- That the actual lapsed time versus the time it feels to have passed can seem like forever. In an anxious situation seconds can feel like minutes, as witnessed by residents and Fire Chiefs alike who are awaiting the arrival of the members and equipment.
As mentioned above, recently, your East Meadow Fire Department has responded to several serious fires that originated through 911. Again, an outstanding system that got you prompt help. But in a business where time is of the essence to say the least, we ask our residents that, if you need the East Meadow Fire Department, for a Fire of EMS emergency follow the instructions on your phone sticker. Stickers are distributed annually. If you don’t have stickers contact us here and we will be sure to get them delivered.
Lastly, please remember, should you need the service of the Nassau County Police Department for a Police Emergency, or prefer their outstanding Emergency Ambulance Service, the 911 system is the number to call.
In years passed, communication experts have stated that the average civilian will make one true emergency phone call in their lifetime. With today’s society of wireless technology, it is likely that this figure has doubled or tripled with cellular phones being the number one source of incoming calls beyond your home or office.
1. CALM DOWN and collect your thoughts before speaking. Many times easier said than done.
2. KNOW THE ADDRESS from where your emergency is. Many times callers are at locations other than home. Be sure your babysitter knows your address.
3. SPEAK CLEARLY. This will reduce errors, and reduce time on the phone call.
4. DO NOT HANG UP until the emergency dispatcher has all information or tells you to.
5. FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS given by the dispatcher pertaining to your emergency. (EX: Evacuate the home, unlock the front door, etc)
6. If you use the services of a BABY SITTER, make certain your sitter has all the emergency numbers to call for help.
7. TEACH YOUR CHILDREN EARLY. Particularly if an adult in the family has a medical issue. We see this often where an adult falls critically ill, and a child makes the difference in getting help. (In these cases for children, 911 may be the preferred method to teach for its simplicity, and other teaching they may have had through schooling)
8. HAVE A PHONE NEARBY your sleeping quarters so help can be called if your primary phone cannot be reached. Many residents no longer have a home phone. In such case, you must keep you cellular phone charged, and nearby at all times.
We hope you never need our services, but we stand ready at all times in the event you need us.
Calling the East Meadow Fire Department for a medical emergency will generally result in transportation to the Nassau University Medical Center with two exceptions:
- That Nassau County Medical Control has diverted the EMFD to another hospital due to the amount of patients in their care at any particular time.
- That a particular patient is in need of specific medical care not available at the planned hospital destination.
For these reasons, emergency call takers at the EMFD Communication’s Office are unable to grant changes in destinations during an emergency medical call.