October 17, 2003  



Don’t Abuse 9-911

By Steve Mahaley

Although everyone knows this, it’s worth reminding ourselves the 9-911 emergency system is only for reporting police, medical, or fire emergencies. Non-emergency calls will cause delays to those calls that require immediate attention. Below are guidelines on the proper use of the 9-911 system.

1. Only use 9-911 for life-threatening emergencies such as:

• If someone is having difficulty breathing or if breathing has stopped

• Choking (can’t talk or breathe)

• Constant chest pain (more than two minutes)

• Uncontrollable bleeding or vomiting

• Drowning or electrocution

• Drug overdose or poisoning

• Sudden fainting or unconsciousness

• Convulsions or seizures

• Major burns (white or charred skin; blisters and redness over large area)

• If someone will not wake up, even if shaken

• Severe injuries from traffic accidents, head injuries or falls

2. When calling 9-911, tell the operator critical information:

• The nature of the emergency (police, fire or medical problem)

• Your location (state you are at SLAC, and give building number or approximate location if outside)

• The age and number of people that need help

• If there are any hazardous materials involved

• If person is conscious and breathing

3. Stay on the phone until the operator tells you to hang up:

Remain calm and give direct answers to the questions asked. Speak slowly and clearly. You will be asked additional questions so the operator can send the right type of help. All questions are important.

The operator may also provide you with critical first-aid instructions such as CPR (for heart attacks or non-breathing) or the Heimlich maneuver (for choking).

4. Do not call 9-911 for non-emergency situations such as:

• Minor illness or injury not requiring immediate help (flu or common cold symptoms, chronic aches and pains, minor cuts, or broken fingers or toes)

• Emotional upset

Non-emergency medical problems can be treated at the SLAC Medical Department (Bldg. 41, Rm. 135, Ext. 2281). They are open Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. In the event the Medical Department is closed, a nurse or doctor can be contacted by cell phone (650) 823-7163 or pager (650) 849-9558.

Remember, these are general guidelines. If you have any doubts as to the nature of your emergency, do not hesitate to call 9-911.

Understanding when to place a 9-911 call will help the system run efficiently and send you emergency service in the shortest possible time.

If you have questions about the 9-911 system, please contact Steve Mahaley, Emergency Management Coordinator, at Ext. 2095.


The Stanford Linear Accelerator Center is managed by Stanford University for the US Department of Energy

Last update Thursday October 16, 2003 by Kathy B