Prepare for a 911 Medical Emergency

How to prepare and what to expect before, during and after an emergency.

How to Prepare for a 911 Medical Emergency

You never know when your or a loved one will experience a medical emergency. It is best to be prepared before an emergency occurs because during an emergency, emotions are running high and panic often sets in. Please read these recommendations on what to have on hand prior to the arrival of the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services.

  1. Have a list of your current medications, properly labeled 
  2. Have a POLST (Physician’s Orders for Life-Sustaining Treatment) form (learn how)
  3. Have a list of your medical history including allergies
  4. Have a copy of your photo I.D.

What Happens During a Medical Emergency?

After you call 911 for a medical emergency, EMS dispatches a crew and ambulance to the scene of the emergency. EMS Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians will begin to evaluate the patient through a series of questions and begin the necessary medical treatment.

The Paramedics will decide if you need to be transported to an emergency room for further treatment and EMS will decide on which hospital you will be transported to. The hospital is selected based on criteria including the severity of your symptoms and/or injuries. Paramedics will also give you the option of having someone drive you in a personal vehicle to the emergency room, if they deem it safe.

You or the patient will be asked to sign a patient refusal form, documenting you refused to go with EMS to an emergency room, which is the patient’s right.

What Happens After a Medical Emergency?

After the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services treats and transports you to an emergency room, you may have follow-up questions. Our EMS Paramedics and Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) strive to give you the best possible patient care from the time they arrive on scene until they reach the emergency room. This includes making sure you have all your personal belongings when you reach the ER.

Lost Items?

If you think you may have lost an item and want to check if the EMS crew found it, please call the number below that coordinates with where your emergency was located.

Questions About Your Bill?

If you have a questions about the bill you receive, please visit the EMS Ambulance Billing & Medical Records Inquiries page.

Want to Thank the EMS Crew?

If you would like to meet the crew who responded to your call or send a thank you card, please email Shayne Enright at

The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA)

The Healthcare Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), was signed into law on August 21, 1996. HIPAA was designed to keep patients’ protected health information (PHI) safe and secure, whether it exists in a physical or electronic form. With regards to Honolulu EMS, HIPAA pertains to the delivery of healthcare.

Read our notice of privacy practices.

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