Don't wait for an emergency to find out what you need to do! Here are some excellent tips from a former Island emergency responder.
Sheriff Ed Trentacosta has requested that you CALL 911 FIRST in an emergency. You can call him later to discuss the situation. Sheriff Ed strives to spend most of his day here on the island, however, he sometimes must be off island.
WHEN CALLING 911, GIVE YOUR FULL STREET ADDRESS AND THENINFORM THE OPERATOR TO ROUTE THE CALL TO CHARLOTTE COUNTY FIRE STATION #10 SHOULD YOU NEED FIRE AND/OR EMS PARAMEDIC UNITS. When calling 911– use a landline if available – their system will show the location immediately. If calling from a cell phone be sure to give the correct FULL STREET ADDRESS – do not say Palm or Gulf Blvd make sure you identify it as Palm Drive and Gulf Blvd North, etc. as within Charlotte County there are several streets with the name Palm or Gulf, etc. Also, identify that you are on Palm Island Resort, Don Pedro, or Knight Island. Stressed: DO NOT GO DIRECTLY TO THE FIRE STATION OR THE BARGE. Please wait for Emergency personnel to come to the address given, fire station personnel could be on another call, doing island inspections, etc.
EMERGENCY PROCEDURES 911 operators are trained to handle calls for fire, medical, and police emergencies. Listen to and answer all questions asked. Be ready to provide your address. (Unlike land lines, cell calls do not provide an address to 911 operators.) After placing the call, if possible, send someone outside to watch for and flag responders.
Fire emergencies and emergency medical aid is provided by Charlotte County Fire and EMS paramedic units based on the island. Charlotte County firefighter/EMT's staff the Island’s Fire House to insure a timely response to fire and medical calls. This is part of your tax dollars at work.
After Hours (when ferry is not running): ◦ Dispatchers use a “call list” to bring in ferry Captains. ◦ Sheriff’s Deputies have boats to get to the island directly.
To Assist Emergency Responders: ◦ Keep the telephone line clear after the 9-1-1 call is made. ◦ Make sure your address can be seen from the street. ◦ Secure your pets, especially all dogs. ◦ Any obstacles in front of entrance doors hinder stretcher and/or hose lines. ◦ If possible, move vehicles from in front of entrance doorways to aid access.
In Case of Fire: Give important information to the first arriving emergency unit. For example: ◦ Is anyone still inside the structure? (This includes pets.) ◦ Where is the fire located within the structure? ◦ Where are utilities located, such as electrical panels and gas valves. ◦ Include any information on peculiar aspects of the structure.
Medical Emergencies: ◦ Have all pertinent information available to the arriving paramedics such as, a list of all medications, medical history and doctors name. ◦ If possible, have all medications in a bag in case they need to be taken to the hospital with the patient. ◦ Family members can only ride to the hospital in the front of the rescue vehicle after signing a liability waiver. The officer or paramedic in charge may disallow this for any reason if it is deemed in the patient's best interest. ◦ When following a rescue to the hospital please do not follow at the same pace or close behind the emergency vehicle. Many vehicles do not give the right of way to the rescue causing the unit to make sudden stops. ◦ The paramedic may speak loudly so that co-workers can also hear, or he may respond in an abrupt manner. Please do not misunderstand these actions to be rude or uncaring. ◦ There will be situations where the information that you provide needs to be short and basic so that rapid treatment can be given.