911 Emergencies

Calling 911
If you are in an emergency situation and need to call 911, be prepared with these dos and don'ts:

Do take a breath and try to talk calmly
Do give your location immediately
Do give details about the situation and answer the operator's questions

Don't panic or scream
Don't hang up until instructed to do so

"Most importantly, here's the key to making the right 911 call and the key to dealing with any emergency: You prepare before the emergency," E.R. physician Dr. Travis Stork says. "That way, when it happens, you're ready for it. Always be prepared."

911 Call Controversy
Emergency calls are always recorded, but many are also released publicly, prompting The Doctors to take issue.

“I feel it’s like a personal and confidential medical record, and therefore should not be disclosed,” OB/GYN Dr. Lisa Masterson says.

“HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) laws prevent [doctors] from sharing [confidential] information,” Dr. Travis says. “I have never been a fan of 911 calls being released. The reason that the 911 call is public knowledge is because 911 is a public service. It’s publicly funded, and 911 is an amazing service, but I would actually urge congress to take this up.

“This system needs to get fixed. When you call 911, you are basically saying, ‘I am in distress. I need help.’ We don’t feel that 911 calls should be sent out for broadcast,” Dr. Travis says.