How to Request an Ambulance
There are two numbers to call for ambulance assistance: triple zero (000) for an emergency and 13 12 33 for a non-emergency. The classification of an emergency or non-emergency is determined by the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS) Emergency Medical Dispatcher when taking the call. If you have any doubts, please call triple zero (000) and they will advise you of the best possible course of action. If you are calling from a mobile phone and triple zero (000) does not work, call 112.
In some circumstances, QAS Communications Staff will monitor the patient's condition over the phone as paramedics travel to the scene of the incident. They will alert paramedics if a faster response time is needed (ie., if the situation becomes more acute).
What is an emergency
An emergency is life threatening situations, such as:
- Major accidents
- sudden onset of illness
- sudden onset of pain (includes chest pain, abdominal pain, labour pain);
- incidents with severe loss of blood
- where a patient is experiencing major discomfort and the severity of the illness or injury is not known.
In these instances, paramedics will use warning devices, such as lights and sirens, to clear the traffic and reach the patient as soon as possible.
However, an emergency can also include persons requiring professional hospital care but whose condition is not immediately life threatening, such as:
- controlled bleeding.
For these instances, paramedics will travel at signed speeds and are subject to traffic conditions prevailing at the time.
How to report an emergency
- Call triple zero (000) (free call) and ask for "Ambulance";
- You will then be transferred to a QAS Communication Centre;
- The QAS operator will ask you some important questions, including:
- The address of where the ambulance is required;
- What the problem is;
- How many people are injured;
- The patient's age;
- The patient's gender;
- If the patient is conscious; and
- If the patient is breathing.
- The QAS operator may provide you with Ambulance pre-arrival advice to assist the patient;
- It is important that you DO NOT HANG UP until the operator tells you to. You may have to hold the line while an ambulance is dispatched.
What is a non-emergency
Non-emergencies are usually a patient who has a pre-arranged visit to a medical facility for ongoing treatment, or transfer of a patient from one medical facility to another for specialist treatment.
Situations where a doctor may authorise routine ambulance transport are:
- If a patient requires stretcher transport
- if a patient requires active management or monitoring while in transit
- if a patient has a condition that would cause him or her to be gravely embarrassed or unacceptable to people on public transport.
When requesting an ambulance to a non-emergency, QAS requires 24 hours notice to allow us to schedule your booking. QAS Communications Staff will check that you have an authorised transport need. Please note that the QAS staff can decline to dispatch an ambulance if you do not have an authorisation certificate from a medical practitioner.
While QAS will make every attempt to meet times for pre-arranged visits, an emergency call will always take precedence over a non-emergency call.
How to report a non-emergency
- Call 13 12 33 (local call cost). You will be connected direct
to the QAS and asked for the following information:
- the name, age, date of birth and gender of the patient
- the patient's home address
- the pick up location for the patient (this may be his or her residential address, medical clinic, or hospital)
- the date and time required for pick up
- the location of the medical facility the patient is going to
- the name of the medical officer (doctor) authorising the transport
- the nature of the patient's illness or injury
- any special care requirements
- any return transport requirements.
For the hearing or speaking impared
The National Relay Service, an Australia-wide telephone access service for hearing or speech impaired people using a TTY or a computer with a modem, provides access to all types of telephone services for its customers. The 106 Emergency Relay Service is the world’s first text-based emergency service. The Emergency Relay Service enables people who are deaf, or have a hearing or speech/communication impairment to contact the ambulance, fire and police through their TTY or modem.
The 106 Emergency Relay Service should only be used in real emergency situations where your life or property is in danger and is available 24 hours a day, everyday of the year.
A fact sheet containing further information on the 106 Emergency Relay Service, including how to use it, is available on the Australian Communication Exchange website at www.aceinfo.net.au/Services/NRS/Services/ers.html.