Skip to main content

Fire-Rescue Department

What to Do Before Help Arrives

Before 9-1-1 help arrives at your door, there are certain things you can do to ensure a quick and effective response to your emergency.

If you have a fire or smoke in the house:

  • Get out of the house immediately and do not re-enter.

If you have a medical emergency:

  • If someone other than the 9-1-1 caller is available, send them outside to flag arriving emergency units to the emergency.
  • If you have a 9-1-1 medical emergency and the patient is taking any prescribed medications, the care of the patient will be expedited if these are gathered and placed in a bag prior to the arrival of paramedics. Paramedics are able to gain knowledge of the patient's history and condition by looking at medications. They are also required take the patient's medications to the hospital with them for the doctor to examine.
  • Before the arrival of emergency personnel, please make sure all pets are secured to assure the safety of the rescuers as well as that of the pet(s).

Before you have an emergency, the San Diego Fire-Rescue Department recommends you:

  • Make sure your address is properly posted and can be seen at night as well as during the day.
  • Consider painting numbers on the curb in front of your home or business to make identifying your address easier for rescue responders

Download our free brochure "Help 911 Help You" in English and Español