How Do I Know it’s an Emergency? When Should I Call an Ambulance?

You can save a person’s life in an emergency situation if you call immediately for an ambulance. If necessary, administer first aid while you wait for the ambulance.

In an emergency, call Triple zero, 000, for an ambulance in Australia.

What is an emergency?

South Australia Health advises that it’s an emergency when a person is experiencing:

  • chest pain or tightness
  • difficulty breathing
  • sudden collapse or an unexplained fall
  • fits or seizures
  • uncontrollable bleeding
  • serious burns
  • unconsciousness
  • a fall from great height
  • injury from a car accident
  • serious assault
  • fits, allergic reactions or ongoing fever (in infants)

Triple Zero, 000 is the phone number to call in Australia for emergency services, including ambulance.

If you are still unsure whether it’s an emergency, then trust your gut. If your instincts or intuition are warning you that it is serious, it probably is. Err on the side of caution and call an ambulance if in doubt.

For more information about how to handle an emergency or to help someone who is experiencing a non-life threatening situation but needs urgent care see the links below.


What is a medical emergency?South Australia Health Ambulance and emergency services

How to call an ambulanceAmbulance Victoria, Calling an Ambulance

How to make a call using the national relay service for people are deaf, or have a hearing or speech impedimentAustralian Government, National Relay Service

Accessing urgent care centres for urgent care in non-life threatening situationsAustralian Government Department of Health and Aged Care, Urgent Care Clinics

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