And why did arrest guy's family drive him in? "At first we thought he just passed out, and we thought this would be faster." Now, that may strictly be true, but the ambulance could have recognized that he was in distress and been giving medical interventions already. Also? If the moron with the 3 month foot pain wasn't calling 911, response time to CPR guy might be quicker.
Now, I fully admit that there may be times when it's legitimately hard to know whether you do or don't need an ambulance, but usually? If you have time to discuss it? You probably don't.
And, generally speaking, if you are under 50, never had any medical problems and take reasonably good care of yourself, there will almost never be anything wrong with you that requires an ambulance except maybe a car crash or other trauma.
It's important that you understand that saying you don't require emergency transport doesn't mean you don't need medical care. But requiring medical care does not necessarily mean you have a medical emergency. And far, far too many people have no concept of what is an actual medical emergency. Anything for which you can call a Dr. and make an appointment or sit on line at an urgent care? You should do that. If you find yourself saying, "Well, it's just faster at the ER"? YOU are the reason that it is actually NOT faster at the ER. But, that's a whole other blog post...
So, lemme give you a brief lowdown (for the legal types, I do not pretend to be the final authority nor is this list complete) of reasons for which you should ABSOLUTELY call an ambulance:
- You're just sitting there and suddenly experience excruciating chest pain that doesn't go away or is accompanied by shortness of breath or dizziness
- You're engaging in some sort of physical activity that you normally do without trouble and now developing crushing chest pain or shortness of breath
- You fell 10 ft or more, even if you think you're fine and have family who can drive you, because you need to be immobilized
- You have an allergic reaction that causes your lips to swell or feel short of breath and have hives -- ESPECIALLY if you have nut allergies, even if you just took a hit of your epipen (Girl with nut allergy dies)
- You've cut yourself sufficiently badly that you have to hold continuous pressure to stop bleeding and so can't drive yourself and are alone
- Weakness/heaviness/numbness on one side of the body, sudden blurring or loss of vision, inability to talk or facial droop or slurred words
- Foot pain for 3 months
- ANY complaint that you've have for an extended period of time
- Any complaint that still allows you to be on the cell phone when the EMS stretcher rolls you into my ER
- If you are not having anything on the other list and there are 3 people in the house with you and 6 cars in the driveway