[QldGovSpin] Too many Queenslanders do not know Triple Zero

Submitted by Editor on Tue, 08/06/2004 - 18:23

Up to 50,000 Queensland adults do not know the triple zero emergency phone number, Emergency Services Minister Chris Cummins said today.

Emergency Services, Chris Cummins emergency at cabinet.qld.gov.au

07/06/04

"A recent survey done for my Department found that more than 50,000 adult Queenslanders did not know the correct number to call in an emergency," Mr Cummins said.

"Surprisingly, 26,700 people in the survey did not have any idea of the triple zero number.

"A further 25,600 people who said they knew the emergency number actually gave an incorrect number - such as an overseas emergency number."

Mr Cummins said it is a phone call that we all hope we never have to make, but if you do need to dial triple zero for an emergency, it is a very simple procedure.

"With the increasing use of mobile phones, it is also important to note that there is an option to dial 112 on your mobile phone in an emergency," he said.

"This number is particularly useful if you are in an area covered by a rival mobile phone network, because even if your phone does not have reception, the 112 number may enable your call to be picked up by other networks."

Minister Cummins said children as young as two have called for an ambulance when an adult has been in trouble.

"Sometimes they may be the only person able to get to a phone to call for the ambulance, so teaching them triple zero can save a life," he said.

"If you call triple zero, you will get through to a Telstra operator who asks which town and state you are calling from and which service is required - fire, ambulance or police."

Mr Cummins said if an ambulance was needed, a Queensland Ambulance Service call taker receives the call and will ask:

* Where is the emergency ?

* What phone number are you calling from ?

* What is the problem ?

* How many are injured ?

* Are they conscious ?

* Are they breathing ?

"The call taker advises the caller that an ambulance is being dispatched and sends information to the ambulance dispatcher, either manually or by computer," he said.

"The ambulance dispatcher makes the decision of the most appropriate unit to respond.

"The call taker then asks additional questions to determine what first aid advice is needed, and any other information needed by the crew, such as landmarks.

"A caller should never hang up until instructed to do so by the call taker.

"In some cases, such as a cardiac arrest, the call taker stays on-line to give directions and encouragement until the ambulance arrives.

"Every second counts during an emergency and time can mean the difference between life and death - that's why it's vital for people to use the triple zero number properly."

Media contacts:
Justin Coomber 3247 8194, 0407 130 287 or Tim Shipstone 3247 8992

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