One of the main topics I discuss in my CPR sessions is activating the Emergency Response System. As an American Heart Association-certified CPR and First Aid Instructor, I teach to their guidelines; however, I have recently learned some new information after speaking with a Police Officer employed by the Hermosa Beach PD. This information is relevant for the Beach Cities, if you live elsewhere you will need to consult with your local Police Department to determine if this information pertains to where you live.
Did you know that you can text message 9-1-1? Yes, you read that right! I want to emphasize that calling 9-1-1 should be your first go to! Good old fashioned calling is most effective when attempting to reach the police department. Texting 9-1-1 may be useful in a hostage circumstance or if you are in need of contacting 9-1-1 discreetly. This is also helpful for those who have difficulty hearing, are deaf or may have impaired speech (i.e. after oral surgery).
Another topic that has come up in some of my classes is the use of blue tooth devices such as Siri and Alexa when needing to contact 9-1-1. Per the police officer that I spoke with, Siri and Alexa are NOT reliable sources for emergency situations. He stated that dialing direct from your phone is most reliable.
I also spoke with a Fireman about what should be done if we need paramedic assistance when cardiac arrest occurs and the front door is locked. He stated that if you are performing CPR and the paramedics arrive to help, quickly unlock the front door so that they can enter the house to prevent any further delay in medical assistance.
I plan to continue gathering helpful information from our local police officers and firefighters. I will be sure to create another blog post when I have more information!
Lisa Grossman, RN, BSN, PHN, OCN, AHA-certified CPR/First Aid Instructor