Calling an Ambulance

This might seem a straight forward excercise. However there are a few things you need to know, i.e. when to call an ambulance, the correct emergency numbers and what to say to the operator.

When to call an ambulance?
  • When a casualty is unconscious no matter the cause
  • When a casualty is fitting
  • When a casualty has breathing problems
  • When a casualty is wheezing
  • When you suspect Meningitis
  • When a casualty has a severe Bleed
  • When there is no pulse below the fracture/dislocation
  • When you are concerned
The golden rule rule is – if in doubt, call them!


What is the right number – 999 or 112?

Regardless of which number you call, there will be no difference and the call will be handled in the same manner. 112 is the pan-European number to access the Emergency Services and this number can be used to reach the Emergency Services whilst travelling throughout Europe. In Ireland, 999 and 112 exist equally and run in parallel. If you are travelling within Europe or if you know somebody who is planning to take a trip within Europe sometime soon, remember to use 112 in the event of an emergency.

How to call the emergency services?

  • State the exact location of the emergency
  • The phone number your are calling from and your name
  • State your name
  • Type and severity of emergency, i.e. “road traffic accident, 2 cars involved”
  • Patient’s name (if known to you), approximate age, sex and condition / injuries
The operator will be able to provide you with first aid advice while you are waiting for the emergency services to arrive.
Making a 999 Call: How to make a 999 Call courtesy of St. John’s Ambulance Young First Aider Resources

If you would like to like to read about our range of First Aid Courses in Dublin please click here.

Why First Aid

In February 2010 we started a series of First Aid tips. Since then we covered a lot of topics. Please have a look in our archive.

This month we want to give you some food for thought. We collected some interesting newspaper articles and reports online.

Why do you need First Aid training?

The Red Cross published an interesting report in September 2009. It identifies Ireland as one of the countries that has the poorest record in First Aid training. Only 5% !!! of Irish people stated that they would be confident in resuscitating a casualty. That compares with up to 80% in other European Countries.If you think you are part of the 95% please consider one of our courses. For a list of our next public courses please check our calendar.
Did you know that is compulsory in the majority of countries in the EU to have an up to date First Aid course in order to obtain a drivers licence?As you probably can imagine Ireland is not one of those countries.

The Red Cross published a report in 2008 that outlined their suggestions and gave some very intestesting statistics.

So if you are a motorist and you have not done a general first aid course its time to change this.

By the way – did you know that is compulsory in countries like Germany to carry a first aid kit in your car? Garda in Germany will not only check that you paid your motor tax, they will also check that you have an in date first aid kit and warning triangle in your car.

It is well known how important CPR is at a witnessed cardiac arrest.The chances of survival have significantly improved since AED – automated external defibrilators – are being introduced to more and more sports clubs, public buildings, shopping centres and rural community schemes.

AEDs are a vital part of the chain of survival.

Here you can read a very emotional success story. If it wasn’t for the help of trained Cardiac First Responders this lady would not have survived.

If you want to learn CPR and how to use an AED please book one of our public classes or a CPR & AED for family and friends class.


Meningitis is a global killer, affecting 250-300 people every year in Ireland. Most at risk are children under the age of 5, 16–19 year olds, and people over 55. Around 25 people in this country die from bacterial meningitis each year and many more who survive are often left with after-effects including deafness, blindness, limb loss (where septicaemia is involved), learning difficulties, memory issues and behavioural problems.Timing is crucial. Only if you know the symptoms you can take appropriate action. All our courses cover meningitis in detail.

For more details please go to

Our next regular First Aid tip of the month will focus on the treatment of hypothermia.

If you would like to like to read about our range of First Aid Courses in Dublin please click here.