In Australia, the rules for when and where an ambulance can be called depend on the situation.
But one emergency services expert says it is crucial for all Australians to know how to properly respond when they are in a critical condition.
A report commissioned by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) found that the average person in Australia was experiencing a serious emergency that required immediate medical attention in about 75 per cent of emergency calls.
The AIHW said this meant that most Australians were either not adequately prepared for the call or did not fully understand the consequences of not doing so.
“Many people who are in hospital are not able to get to the nearest ambulance, they are not available for emergency care and are left waiting in a waiting room for several hours, which can be very distressing,” AIHV national executive director Greg Molloy said.
The report recommended that the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Act 1990 be amended to allow for the emergency services to respond to the emergency call even if there is no ambulance available.
“We believe that when we see people being taken to hospital for a critical medical condition, we should make every effort to get there safely,” Mr Molloys said.
“The vast majority of people will be able to access the best care they need when they’re in a hospital and will be prepared for an emergency and a delay in hospital care.”
The report also recommended the introduction of a National Emergency Preparedness Plan, which would outline the priority health services that should be provided for people in a crisis.
“Emergency services should be trained to prioritise emergency care when people are in crisis,” Mr Smith said.
“In emergencies, the best response is the right response.”
Mr Smith said there were many reasons why a person may not be able or prepared to call a service.
“Some people have a very high tolerance for stress and it’s difficult for them to cope with this,” he said.”[But] some people have very little tolerance for it and they’re too stressed out to make a call.”
I think we have to be careful not to just let the panic get to people.
“The AIB said the number of people who were injured or killed in a car crash was a serious issue, but the number that died in a road crash was relatively low.”
Our data shows that the risk of dying in a traffic collision in Australia is between 1.8 and 3 per cent, and the risk is reduced significantly when you compare the number killed in traffic crashes to the number who die in other types of traffic crashes,” Mr Latham said.
He said that, while there were no numbers for how many people died in road accidents in 2017, there were enough numbers for an increase in the number in 2018.”
There’s a number of drivers out there who are very upset, very depressed, very angry,” Mr Johnson said.
The ABC has sought comment from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection.