Helpful tips

The Charter of the French language and its regulations govern the consultation of English-language content.

9-1-1 or 8-1-1

*Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone’s life is in danger.*

*Call Info-Santé at 8-1-1 for non-urgent health problems.*

Info-Santé 8-1-1 is a free and confidential telephone consultation service. Dialling 8-1-1 puts you promptly in contact with a nurse in case of a non-urgent health issue, and directs you to an appropriate health network resource. Calling Info-Santé 8-1-1 often helps you avoid going to a medical clinic or emergency room unnecessarily. The service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

*Examples of situations in which you can call Info-Santé 8-1-1*

  • You have a flu that has persisted for several days and you are wondering if you should see a doctor.
  • Your child wakes up with a high fever and you are wondering if you should take them to emergency.
  • You are wondering what to do in order to relieve itching and swelling caused by an insect bite.
  • You have questions about health network resources.
When you dial 9-1-1
  • Get as close as possible to the person in distress
  • Stay calm
  • Answer the emergency dispatcher’s questions clearly so that they can establish the priority of your call
  • Follow first aid instructions until the paramedics arrive to take over. Your cooperation can make all the difference!
  • Follow instructions that will assist the paramedics
  • Stay on the line to answer questions and take instructions. Stay on the line until you are told to hang up.
While waiting for the ambulance

Are you waiting for an ambulance? Get ready!

Make sure you have:

  • the patient’s health care card
  • the patient’s medications
  • if possible, the location of the hospital where the patient will be taken

Also, to ensure the paramedics can get there as quickly as possible:

  • turn on the outside light
  • unlock the door
  • clear the entrance and staircase
  • if possible, send someone out to guide the paramedics to the patient
  • if there are pets, make sure they are secured
Sirens and flashing lights

When you hear a siren or see flashing lights:

  • locate the emergency vehicle
  • move over to the right if possible, slow down and stop if necessary
  • slow down at intersections and let the emergency vehicle pass

Respect buffer lanes
Driving rules were implemented in 2012 to create a buffer lane in specific circumstances to protect the drivers and occupants of certain stopped vehicles. Generally, drivers create a buffer lane by slowing down and then moving as far as possible away from the stopped vehicle, after making sure it can be done safely. Click here to find out how!

For your own safety, never follow an emergency vehicle that is travelling with siren and flashing lights.