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Triple zero callers: your role

When calling triple zero, remember to:

  • Stay calm
  • Clearly state WHERE the emergency is
  • Clearly state WHAT the emergency is
  • Answer the call-taker’s questions as best you can
  • Don’t hang up until advised to do so by the call-taker
  • Be aware of any potential hazards to you or others (For example: fallen powerlines following a road accident, persons acting aggressively, sparks or embers from a fire)

Calling from a mobile

When a triple zero call is made from a mobile phone, the actual address or GPS location of the caller is not provided to ESTA. The call-taker must determine the location of the emergency from the caller.

On average, the time to verify a caller's location from a mobile phone is around 40-50 seconds and in some individual calls, it may take minutes.

It is therefore critical to know the location of the emergency when calling from a mobile - the sooner we can verify an address, the sooner we can send emergency help.

Tip 1:  If you have a smartphone, check to see if it has a map or compass app. If you're not sure where you are, extra information like nearby street names, landmarks or latitude / longitude coordinates will help the call-taker. Or download the free Emergency+ app.

Tip 2:  When out and about, always be aware of what road or freeway you’re travelling on. Play a game with the kids and get them to read out the signs as you pass.

Calling from a landline or fixed home phone

When a triple zero call is made from a fixed line in Victoria, ESTA automatically receives the telephone subscriber's billing address which, in the majority of cases, is the address where the emergency services are needed.  The time to verify a caller's location from a fixed line is, on average, between 20-30 seconds.

Tip 3:  If you can, keep your medication in the one place, out of reach of children. Make a list of medications you are on and leave the list in a common spot - perhaps stuck to the inside of your medicine cabinet or near the telephone.