Call 911

Do you need help in an emergency? Never hesitate to call 9-1-1.

Eventually, it will probably happen to you: An inevitable emergency will occur, and you will need an ambulance, fire equipment or a police officer. 

How do you contact the right person? It is so easy. Go to the nearest telephone and dial 9-1-1.

In 2016, the Drexel Heights Fire District emergency personnel responded to over 7,000 calls for assistance. 

Here are some ways you can help Drexel Heights Fire District help you during an emergency:

Call 9-1-1 to report: a fire, a serious crime, any serious medical condition, and any situation requiring immediate response of fire, police or emergency medical personnel. 

The 9-1-1 operator needs to know the address of the emergency, phone number you are calling from and the nature of the emergency. 

Remember to stay calm, speak clearly, and be prepared to answer questions from multiple dispatchers, receive instructions and stay on the phone until you are told to hang up. 

You should know several things when you come across emergency vehicles on the road. When an emergency vehicle has its lights and siren on, it is responding to an emergency. It is the law and your responsibility to: pull to the right side of the road and stop until the emergency vehicle has passed, give all emergency vehicles the right-of-way, keep back at least 500 feet from an emergency vehicle when it is responding with lights and siren, do not drive over fire hoses, and drive carefully around an emergency scene.

Should you happen to be involved with or at an emergency scene, there are some things to keep in mind: 

Once an emergency has been reported, someone should wait in an area to direct the fire and police departments to the emergency. 

If you are a witness to the emergency, stay at the scene to provide emergency personnel with information. 

If you are asked to move or leave the area, do it! The firefighters and police officers are looking out for your safety. Remember, things can become very hectic in an emergency and firefighters and police officers need to do their job in a safe way.

Some other tips important tips: Make sure your home address is visible from the street. Keep neighborhood areas around fire hydrants clear of parked cars, fences, bushes, tall weeds and debris. Keep bushes, trees, grass and weeds cut or trimmed to avoid the chance of brush fires. If you have security bars on your windows, make sure they are fitted with inside quick releases. Do not waste precious time by calling or driving to your local fire or police station; you will get a much quicker response to your emergency needs by dialing 9-1-1.

Tracy Koslowski is the public education/information manager for the Drexel Heights Fire District. The Drexel Heights Fire District Board meets on the third Friday of each month at 9:00 a.m., in the training classroom next to Station # 1, located at 5030 S. Camino Verde. All meetings are handicap accessible and with 10 days written notice, arrangements can be made for the hearing impaired. 

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