Save Triple Zero (000) for emergencies

Knowing how and when to call an ambulance during COVID-19

Save Triple Zero for Emergencies

Every year, about 300,000 people call St John through Triple Zero (000) seeking an ambulance.

Western Australians are generally pretty good at knowing when they are facing a life-threatening emergency, but we have been receiving some calls to Triple Zero (000) which are not emergencies that relate to questions and concerns about COVID-19.

We want to arm people with a better understanding of the right time to call an ambulance, and when it’s more appropriate to contact another health service for assistance or advice.

There are dedicated helplines that provide support for people seeking assistance and advice about COVID-19. Our population is well vaccinated and prepared, so while COVID-19 can cause a life-threatening emergency, it is not always the case.

Our goal is to keep our ambulance officers on the road responding to people when they need us most.


How do I know if it's an emergency

If it’s an emergency, it’s best to call Triple Zero (000) rather than drive to hospital. Not only is it safer, paramedics can start treating a patient when they arrive. While every Triple Zero (000) caller is given assistance, it is important to remember that this number is for emergencies only. If you are unsure, call Triple Zero (000) and have the situation assessed.

You should call Triple Zero (000) if you or someone else is experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Chest pain or tightness
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Uncontrollable bleeding
  • Severe burns
  • Poisoning
  • Unconsciousness or seizures
  • Numbness or paralysis
  • A life-threatening injury
  • On-going fever in infants
  • Unresponsive


Who can I contact for help if it’s not an emergency?

There are a number of options available to assist you with less urgent health needs.

Contact Us Phone

Advice and assistance about COVID-19

For advice and assistance about COVID-19, testing, regulations and support, please call 13 COVID (13 26843).


Frequently Asked Questions Wills and Bequests

Non-emergency health advice

For non-emergency health advice, including queries about COVID-19, visit or call 1800 022 222 to speak to a registered nurse.

Book an appointment with your family General Practitioner. For urgent but not emergency care unrelated to COVID-19, contact St John Urgent Care.



How can I be prepared?


Will I get an ambulance if I call Triple Zero (000)?

If you are experiencing an emergency and need an ambulance, you will get one.

Every call to Triple Zero (000) for an ambulance is carefully assessed to ensure we understand the patient’s requirements and to ensure they get the care they need.

Less urgent calls go to our Secondary Triage Team for more detailed assessment to match callers to the service that best suits their needs. We may direct our callers to alternative care in some of these cases.


What else are we doing to make sure ambulances are available for emergencies?

We've returned about 1000 hours of ambulance time to the road every month through our programs to free up our crews to respond to Triple Zero (000) calls.

This has included:

  • A new COVID-19 hub in our State Operations Centre to help manage covid-related calls
  • Appointing Hospital Liaison Managers to fast-track patient handover in EDs and support frontline staff
  • Multi-patient Takeovers where one crew takes over care of a second patient while waiting at an Emergency Department, delivering 1-to-1 care to patients and freeing up a crew to respond to Triple Zero (000) calls
  • Allowing a transported patient who is able and safe to wait in ED prior to the transfer of care while the crew turns to operations
  • Continuing a Secondary Triage Team to deliver suitable patients to alternative care pathways
  • Facilitating triage en-route for ED bypass through a Virtual Emergency Medicine program
  • Introducing a Patient Transport Paramedic trial for Priority 4 inter-hospital transfers




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