When you need to call an emergency number, you are often in a stressful situation. Yet, it is important that you can provide the operator with precise and correct information and that you can answer his questions.
Before you call
Try, before you call, to find out the following: the exact location, the type of emergency and if there are wounded persons.
Follow these steps
- Call the number 112 for the fire brigade, an ambulance or the police. In Belgium, you dial the number 101 for urgent police assistance.
- Calmly wait for the answer. Don’t hang up, because then you will find yourself again at the bottom of the waiting list.
- Provide the correct address to which the emergency services need to go (city, street, number, intersection, special access, emergency telephone, etc.) and possibly the easiest way to get there. If you don’t call from the place of the incident, tell this to the operator.
- Describe what has happened (fire, accident, aggression, burglary, heart attack, etc.).
- Indicate whether there are persons in danger or wounded persons and how many.
- Don’t hang up before the operator says you can. Keep the telephone line free so that the operator can call you back if he needs more information.
- If the situation should deteriorate or improve, then call the emergency centre again to communicate this.
In case of big disasters several people call the emergency centres. In that case an operator will only ask you for additional useful information. If you don’t have more information, you can hang up when the operator says you can do so. This way the telephone lines are faster free to take other emergency calls.
When you called an emergency number by accident, then don’t hang up, but tell the operator that everything is fine. This way the operator is sure that there is no emergency.