Having a need for EMS to respond can be a stressful time. Take a moment and familiarize yourself with some information to help make everything more efficient.

Calling 9-1-1
When you call 9-1-1 for a medical emergency, the 9-1-1 Center collects vital information for us. They dispatch us within just a few moments, and we're on the way.  Please understand that while we're on the way, they may stay on the line with you and continue to ask you more questions. That doesn't delay us from responding, but it does provide us valuable information about your emergency while we're on the way.

Who Is Coming?
The 9-1-1 Center will always dispatch the closest EMS unit to your location based on GPS satellite information. Highly trained paramedics will arrive by ambulance and are capable of providing the most advanced emergency medical care available. In some cases, a fire department unit may also be sent with us for a medical emergency. Fire units are sometimes able to arrive to an emergency before us. They are trained at the EMT-Basic level, and for some conditions they can begin treatments for us while we're on the way.

Preparing Your House
  • Have someone flag us down at the street if available
  • Turn on porch lights
  • Unlock doors
  • Put pets away if possible

Have Prepared Information Available
Consider preparing this document that you can hand to us when we arrive. It saves you lots of questions and provides us with vital information right away. It can also help us get important information if someone is too sick to communicate well. Use a magnet to hold this form to your refrigerator.



EMS Access For Your Private Residence
Sometimes people are concerned that we won't be able to get to you if your door is locked and you aren't able to unlock it. Rest assured, we will get to you if you need us. If you have placed a door key in an exterior lock box or some other location, you can contact us, and we will put that information in a file with the 9-1-1 Center. It will be secure there, but that information will be available to responders if there's a medical call from your address.

EMS Access For Multi-Residential Dwellings
A commercially available product called Knox Box is available to property managers. It is an exterior lock-box which holds your door key, fob, or card key, and it is commonly used by the Wake County EMS System. You purchase the box, and EMS units maintain a key that will open the box and allow us to use the key you provided to gain access to the property.

How to get a Knox Box:
  • Go to www.knoxbox.com and click "buy" in the upper right corner
  • Type "Wake" in the search box to find your agency, then click "Show More"
  • Select "Wake County Emerg Medical Svcs"
  • Select the KnoxBox 3200 Standard Capacity box
  • Under Options, choose the Mount Type most appropriate for your application (most choose the Surface Mount)
  • Choose the color most appropriate for your application
  • No tamper switch is required
  • Make your purchase

Once you have received and installed your Knox Box, call EMS at 919-856-6022. We will come out and open the box with our EMS key so that you can load in your key, fob, or key card. We'll place blue reflective tape on your box, which will designate it as an EMS access box.

When this is complete, the location of the box will be entered in the computer-aided dispatch system at the 9-1-1 Center so that responders coming to you will know where the box is, and they will have access to the property.


Examples of Knox Box installation. Blue tape indicates EMS access; red tape indicates fire dept. access.