As first responders, one of the most common questions we receive is some variation of “If I have a medical emergency in my home, what can I do to help the paramedics help me as quickly and efficiently as possible?”. We will get into your home and provide you with all of the assistance we can no matter the circumstances but there are a number of steps you can take to help us expedite that care.
The first step you can take is to be sure paramedics can quickly find and enter your home. Be sure your home address numbers are clearly visible from the street in day and night. If you live in a condo or apartment building, check to be sure there is a key to your unit in the building’s Knox box and that it works on your door. If you live in a townhome or single-family house you can purchase a residential Knox HomeBox. The Buffalo Grove Fire Department will get into your home by any means necessary, and this could mean using an axe to your door, using pry bars on the door frame or breaking windows. Having a Knox HomeBox is quicker and easier for everyone, however. For more information click here.
Once we are inside, having all of your important information in one easy to find location is very helpful. What information is “important”? If you are not conscious or coherent, some of the things that will help us expedite your treatment are:
- Your name and date of birth
- Two or more emergency contacts
- Current medications – be sure to update this as your medications change
- Medical conditions
- You primary care physician’s name and telephone number
Remember, this list will do us no good if we can’t find it. The front of your refrigerator is the perfect spot. The Buffalo Grove Fire Department has free information cards available with a handy magnetic pouch.
One final step you can take is to keep clear paths throughout your home. We’ll get you to our gurnee one way or another, but it will be a lot quicker and easier for us if we don’t have to move furniture, piles of shoes, house plants, etc to get the gurnee to you. It can also save you a lot of pain and discomfort if we can get the gurnee to you rather than having to lift you and carry you to the gurnee.
We’ll get in and assist you one way or another, but following these tips can certainly let us help you as quickly as possible!