What is an Emergency?
Some people waste valuable time deciding if they should call 911 during an emergency. The problem is, seconds count in all types of emergencies. When a person stops breathing, they will suffer brain damage in about four minutes. A fire doubles in size every minute! If a crime is being committed, it takes time for the police to get there. The Marion Fire Department wants help to arrive as soon as possible, regardless of the emergency.
Some of the obvious medical emergencies include car accidents, chest pain, shortness of breath and seizures. Other medical emergencies include people who are unconscious or not breathing, poisoning, choking, allergic reactions, and severe bleeding. If you are debating about whether something is enough of an emergency to call 911, it is usually worth calling 911.
Some people worry that they are going to get a bill if the Fire Department responds, but that is not the case. If you have an emergency, and call 911, the Fire Department will respond. Sometimes after the patient is evaluated, they decide that they do not want to go to the hospital, or be transported by ambulance. The Marion Fire Department does not charge a fee for the response, although they will always recommend that you seek further medical treatment.
Sometimes people fall and are not injured but just need help getting up. It is still faster to call 911 to request help than to call the fire station for help. If you tell the dispatcher that the patient is not injured, the Fire Department will probably respond without lights and sirens.
Some people think they can handle small fires and then wait to call for help until after they try to extinguish the fire. It is always better to have someone call right away and get the Fire Department on the way. Fire extinguishers are designed to put out small fires and you should always make sure you have a way out of the room when trying to fight a fire. If the Fire Department responds and the fire has been extinguished, they will just verify that everything is completely extinguished. Unfortunately, sometimes people think they have extinguished the fire and later find out that the fire extended into a wall or cabinet.
Some of the obvious police emergencies include assaults, break-ins, fights, domestic disturbances, shootings, and stabbings. Unfortunately, people also tend to call 911 for things that are not true emergencies such as barking dogs, loud music, or even to report a pothole in a street. Please use 911 to report emergencies. Items in Marion that need police attention, but are not emergencies can be directed to the Marion Police Department’s non-emergency phone number: 319-377-1511.