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When to Call 911 For EMS

EMS Should Be Called For:

  • Suspected heart attack- symptoms may include chest discomfort or pressure, severe palpitations, heavy perspiration and shortness of breath. Chest discomfort is not always present—especially in women
  • Suspected stroke- symptoms are sudden and may include numbness or weakness of the face, arm or leg, especially on one side of the body; confusion, trouble speaking, understanding, or walking; loss of balance or coordination; severe headache with no known cause.
  • Bleeding with weakness or drowsiness—even if bleeding has stopped
  • Severe pain
  • Burn larger than 2 to 3 inches around involving all layers of skin or that appears black or dry and white
  • Severe allergic reaction or asthma attack
  • Poisoning - but only if the victim is comatose or having difficulty breathing, otherwise call the National Poison Control Center first at 1.800.222.1222 or 216.231.4455
  • Severe traumatic injuries

Making Effective Calls

  • Answer questions briefly, clearly and calmly
  • Stay on the line (if safety permits) and hang up only when told
  • Know the location: although the 911 system displays addresses, callers are asked to verify them
  • Turn on lights if it is dark, to help the ambulance driver locate the home. If possible, have someone meet and direct the paramedics to the patient(s)
  • Residents with internet phone service should contact their service provider to determine if they can connect to local emergency services by dialing 911. If not, the EMS number is 216.623.4545, or a cell phone may be utilized for emergency calls

Division of EMS
Nicole Carlton
Acting Commissioner
1701 Lakeside Ave.
Cleveland, Ohio 44114

P: 216.664.2555
F: 216.420.8373
TTY: 800.750.0750
TDD: 216.623.4546
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Pledge to the Community


We are committed to improving the quality of life in the City of Cleveland by maintaining the highest ethical and professional standards of pre-hospital care, treating our patients with dignity and respect, and caring for each patient as if they were a member of our own family.

-Cleveland Division of EMS