When EMS Responds

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 should you ever need us. 

Looking for a loved one currently being treated by EMS?

Unfortunately EMS cannot provide any information regarding any person that we're providing care for due to federal privacy laws.  Included in that, we can neither provide nor confirm identity, patient condition nor hospital transport destination.  We recommend contacting the three hospital systems in an attempt to locate your loved one.
Duke Health, 919-887-8635 

UNC Rex, 919-784-3100

WakeMed, 919-350-8000

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 en route, 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 Home

  • 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 the Patient Information 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.  You can download the patient information document below.

EMS Patient Information Form

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 919-212-9669. 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 will have access to the property. 


Knox Box key safes mounted to posts outside of residence
Examples of Knox Box installation. Blue tape indicates EMS access and red tape indicates fire department access.