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Know when it's an emergency

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Sometimes it is difficult to know whether your problem is serious or not. Here are just a few examples of when you require emergency medical care - and you should call 911 or go to an emergency department.

  • When you are experiencing pains or tightness in the chest
  • When you have severe pain
  • When you have shortness of breath
  • When a person is choking or having difficulty breathing
  • When you think you may have fractured or broken a bone, or have a wound that may need stitches
  • When you have sudden, severe headaches, vision problems, sudden weakness, numbness and/or tingling in the face, arm or leg, trouble speaking, or dizziness
  • If your child has diarrhea and vomiting and won't eat or drink
  • When a baby under six month has a fever over 38.5°C (101°F)

If you have any doubts, call 911. The Emergency Medical service (EMS) paramedics  will take you to the appropriate emergency department.


  • The ambulance can't help you if they can't find you
  • Stay calm - give clear information
  • Clear a path to the patient - move furniture, unlock doors
  • If possible have someone meet the ambulance
  • Be sure your house number is clearly visible from the street
  • If you live in a house - turn on the outside lights at night
  • If you live in an apartment - try to meet the paramedics at the lobby door and have the elevator ready.
  • Do not move the patient, unless life is threatened.

What to do

Be prepared to answer the following questions related to the patient's condition:

  • Consciousness
  • Breathing
  • Bleeding

In the City of Kawartha Lakes, call the emergency number 911 for medical emergencies. Be sure to state your name, address of the emergency and phone number from where you are calling.

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