Office Emergency Preparedness: Essential Actions While Awaiting an Ambulance

In today’s fast-paced office environments, emergencies can happen at any moment. Being prepared for medical emergencies is not just a matter of responsibility but a necessity. As a seasoned emergency responder with over three decades in emergency management, I wrote this guide to provide you crucial steps to take while waiting for an ambulance in an office setting.

Key Actions to Take During a Medical Emergency:

  1. Remain Calm: A calm demeanor can also be reassuring to the patient and your colleagues, helping to maintain a controlled environment until professional help arrives.
  2. Ensure 911 is on the way: In crisis people tend to think someone else is performing a task. Ask if anyone has dialed 911. If not, specifically point to someone and tell them to call.
  3. Assess the Patient: Even if you don’t have training, you can tell the 911 operator the following:
    • Is the patient concious or unconcious?
    • Is the patient bleeding and from where?
    • Anything you know about the patient:
      • Male or Female?
      • Age, Weight, Race? (Weight and race can clue responders into underlying conditions)
      • Obvious medical conditions such as pregnancy or disability?
      • Medic Alert bracelet or necklace?
    • Anything you know about the cause of the incident
  4. Assess the Scene: Ensure the area is clear of any persisting threats.
  5. Clear the Path: Ensure that there is a clear and accessible path for the paramedics to reach the patient swiftly.
  6. Provide Privacy and Comfort: Maintain the dignity of the patient by offering privacy. If you’re not directly involved in providing aid, keep a respectful distance.
  7. Notify Human Resources: If feasible, inform your HR department about the incident. They can assist with any necessary follow-up procedures.
  8. Communication: If the patient is conscious, ask if there’s anyone they would like you to inform. Be their voice when they can’t speak for themselves.

Understanding Your Role as the First Responder:

  • You are the first responder: You are the immediate first responder. The knowledge you possess can significantly impact the outcome.
  • Educate Yourself: Consider taking preparedness courses. Many of them are free or very low cost.
    • Stop the Bleed: offers resources and training schedules to help individuals learn life-saving techniques.
    • Hands-Only CPR: The American Heart Association ( provides guidelines and training for Hands-Only CPR.
    • CERT (CItizen Emergency Response Team): FEMA’s Community Emergency Response Team program ( is an excellent resource for comprehensive emergency response training.
  • Team Training: Encourage your office to organize group training sessions. This not only enhances individual skills but is also great for team building and team preparedness.

Conclusion: When seconds count, 911 is always minutes away. Your actions while waiting for professional medical help can make a significant difference. Stay informed, stay prepared, and remember, your calm and knowledgeable response can save lives.

Ready to Elevate Your Emergency Response Plan?

Navigating through emergency situations requires not just knowledge, but experience and strategic planning. If you’re looking to develop or refine your emergency response plans with expert guidance, I’m here to help. With over 35 years of experience in emergency management, I offer tailored solutions to ensure your team is prepared for any situation.

Contact me today for a consultation, and let’s build a safer, more resilient workplace together.

Skip to content