A firefighter walks across a large ladder to a roof of a burning house


In the event of a medical emergency, calling 9-1-1 should typically be the first priority. An exception would be if an immediate action could be safely taken that would improve a person’s chances for survival. An example of this would be to remove a child submerged in water.

When calling 9-1-1, be prepared to verify your location. If available, a landline offers advantages over a cell phone as it automatically provides the 9-1-1 operator with the address you are calling from. Based on the nature of the emergency, the 9-1-1 operator may provide you with instructions for assisting the patient prior to LAFD arrival. This may include direction on how to perform CPR or something as simple as rolling the patient on their side.

Once any pre-arrival instructions are complete, take action that may assist the Fire Department with finding you. This may be turning on a porch light or having someone meet the LAFD outside and direct them to the patient’s location. Lastly, remember 9-1-1 is for emergencies. For general information or questions regarding Los Angeles City services, the number to call is 3-1-1.