Helpful Information About 911
When to Call 911
You should never delay calling 911 if you are experiencing trouble breathing, altered mental status, chest pain, uncontrollable bleeding, imminent childbirth, stroke symptoms including numbness to the face, arms or legs.
What to Expect
Please anticipate COVID-19 screening questions when calling Honolulu EMS.
When you call 911, an operator will ask if you need, "police, fire or an ambulance?" If you respond, "ambulance" you will be connected to an Emergency Medical Dispatcher (EMD).
The Emergency Medical Services Dispatcher will ask you a series of questions to determine the medical emergency and where the emergency is located.
- Paramedics, address of your emergency?
- What is the phone number you are calling from?
- Tell me exactly what happened.
- Are you with the person now?
- What is the person’s age?
- What is the person’s gender?
- Is he/she conscious?
- Is he/she breathing?
The EMS Dispatcher will immediately send the closest EMS ambulance and crew to the emergency. The Dispatcher will continue to ask you questions, sharing the information with the paramedics who are en route to your emergency. The more information gathered, the more prepared the paramedics are to help the patient when they arrive on scene.
The Dispatcher may also provide the 911 caller with instructions on how to help the patient until the paramedics arrive. This is called pre-arrivals.
Remember to remain on the phone until the Dispatcher says you can hang up.
The City and County of Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Communications Center (Joint Traffic Management Center (JTMC) consists of six Communication Workstations: Dispatch Workstation, Call-Taking Workstations and Combination Dispatch/Call-Taking Workstations, and one additional supervisor workstation.
In 2021, EMS Communication personnel (3-5 per shift) answered more than 124,000 calls, fielding more than 350 requests for medical responses per day. They are responsible for strategically utilizing the 21 EMS units, which provide emergency medical coverage for the island of Oʻahu. City and County of Honolulu's EMS Dispatchers have a minimum of two years of Emergency Medical Technician field experience and maintain certification with the National Association of Emergency Medical Dispatchers.