Ambulance Service of New South Wales
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When to call Triple Zero (000)

Save Triple Zero (000) for saving lives and only call in a medical emergency.

Below are a few examples of medical emergencies which would require you to call Triple Zero (000):

  • chest pain or chest tightness
  • sudden onset of weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg
  • breathing difficulties
  • unconsciousness
  • uncontrollable bleeding
  • sudden collapse or unexplained fall
  • unexplained fitting in adults
  • injury from a major car accident
  • falling from a great height
  • serious assault including stabbing or shooting
  • severe burns, particularly in young children
  • infants that are fitting or have an ongoing fever


This information should be used as a guide only. If you are unsure about whether a person requires an ambulance, you should call Triple Zero (000).

Isn't it quicker to just drive to hospital?

In a medical emergency, it is important that you do not drive yourself or another person to hospital as you may endanger your life, the patient's life or members of the public. Not only are you unable to concentrate on driving but moving some patients can make the situation worse.

In a medical emergency, control centre officers can provide medical advice and paramedics can commence essential life-saving treatment at the scene, as well as en route to hospital, rather than beginning treatment at the hospital.

Inappropriate calls to Ambulance

Did you know that patients have called Triple Zero (000) for conditions such as sore throats, boils, sunburn and even a broken nail?

Many people believe they will be seen sooner if they are taken to hospital by ambulance. This is a common misconception. All patients are treated according to their medical needs, whether they arrive by ambulance or not.

It is important to recognise that ambulances are available for saving lives and are not taxis. Calling an ambulance for non urgent conditions could cost someone their life.

In recent years, Ambulance has developed a number of videos and radio commercials aimed at educating the community on the importance of calling an ambulance for a genuine life-threatening emergency. Follow the links below for more information.


Save Triple Zero for Saving Lives - television commercial

> Inappropriate calls to Ambulance (radio commercial one)

> Inappropriate calls to Ambulance (radio commercial two)

For information on what to do when you require medical assistance but it is not a life-threatening medical emergency, click here.