Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Calling triple zero (000)

5-minute read

When should I call triple zero (000)?

Triple zero (000) is the number to call for ambulance, police or fire services in an emergency. Only call triple zero (000) if the situation is serious and urgent.

You should call triple zero (000) if:

  • someone is seriously injured or needs urgent medical help
  • your life or property is being threatened or in danger
  • you have just witnessed a serious accident or crime

If the situation is not urgent, call your local police, fire or ambulance service instead.

Do I need an ambulance?

You should call triple zero (000) and request an ambulance in the following situations:

  • chest pain or chest tightness
  • sudden onset of weakness, numbness or paralysis of the face, arm or leg
  • breathing difficulties
  • unconsciousness
  • uncontrollable bleeding
  • a sudden collapse or unexplained fall
  • unexplained fitting in adults
  • injury from a major car accident
  • a fall from a great height
  • serious assault, including stabbing or shooting
  • severe burns, particularly in young children
  • infants who are fitting or have an ongoing fever

Are you facing one of these medical emergencies now? Then stop reading and call triple zero (000) immediately.

If you are unsure whether someone needs an ambulance or not, call triple zero (000).

While every triple zero (000) call is given assistance, it is important to remember that this number is for emergencies only.

Most triple zero (000) calls for ambulances do not need a stretcher ambulance or paramedic. This means ambulances and paramedics can get tied up with non-emergency situations — and this could cost someone their life.

What happens when I call triple zero (000)?

The operator will ask:

  • Do you want Police, Fire or Ambulance?
  • What is your exact address or location? Try to provide the street number, street name, nearest cross street and the area. In rural areas give the full address, nearest landmarks and roads, and the name of the property. If you are driving, tell them the direction you're going in and the last motorway exit or town you passed.
  • What is your phone number?

If you need an ambulance, you will be asked to provide details such as:

  • What is the problem?
  • How old is the patient?
  • Are they breathing?
  • Are they conscious?

Remember to keep calm and speak slowly and clearly. Stay focused and only give relevant details.

Stay on the line and don't hang up until the operator tells you to.

How do I call triple zero (000)?

You can call triple zero (000) from any fixed or mobile phone and many VoIP and satellite services in Australia. You can also call 112 (the international emergency number) from any mobile phone in Australia

You can call triple zero (000) via the healthdirect app with a smartphone. The app will display latitude and longitude coordinates which you can relay to emergency service operators when you don’t know exactly where you are.

Text-based service

If you have a speech or hearing impairment, you can use the 106 text-based service.

Other languages service

If you can't speak English, you can call triple zero (000) and ask for Police, Fire or Ambulance. Stay on the line and they will organise a translator.

If you are unable to speak, you will be directed to an interactive voice response (IVR) unit. You will be asked to press '55' if you need assistance and police will be dispatched.

Tips for when calling triple zero (000)

  • stay focused
  • stay relevant
  • stay on the line
  • stay calm
  • call from a safe place
  • make sure the house/unit number is clearly visible when the ambulance arrives
  • if it's hard to find, have someone wait to direct the ambulance
  • lock away pets

Tips for when the ambulance arrives

  • Pack a small bag with anything you may need for the hospital.
  • Bring any regular medication with you.
  • Tell the paramedic if you have any allergies or special requirements.
  • Do not bring valuable items with you in the ambulance.
  • Make sure the doors are locked and don't forget the keys.

Other things you can do

  • Keep the triple zero (000) number beside the telephone at home and work.
  • Teach children how to call triple zero (000).
  • Show overseas visitors that the emergency number in Australia is triple zero (000).

Get the app

The Emergency+ app can access your phone's GPS to calculate latitude and longitude, so when you call triple zero (000) you can provide the critical location details required so emergency services can find you.

The Emergency+ app is available from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

Other places to get help

Rather than calling for an ambulance, you can get help from:

If you are not sure, call healthdirect on 1800 022 222 for advice (known as NURSE-ON-CALL in Victoria).

What care do I need?

The Australian health system has many different types of services available to help you. Watch this video to learn the most appropriate service to your health needs.

Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.

Last reviewed: May 2021

Back To Top

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Top results

Calling an ambulance - Better Health Channel

In a medical emergency, call triple zero (000) for assistance.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Emergency departments | Health and wellbeing | Queensland Government

In an emergency, call Triple Zero (000) and ask for an ambulance. If you’re not sure if your medical condition is an emergency, call 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or visit a GP or pharmacist for medical advice.

Read more on Queensland Health website

Asthma emergency first aid - Better Health Channel

Asthma attacks need urgent emergency first aid. In an emergency, always call triple zero (000).

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Allergic reactions emergency first aid - Better Health Channel

Severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) and asthma attacks need urgent emergency first aid. In an emergency, always call triple zero (000).

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Choking adult or child (over 1 year)

If the patient becomes blue, limp or unconscious, follow DRSABCD and call triple zero (000) for an ambulance.

Read more on St John Ambulance Australia website

Heart attack - Better Health Channel

Heart attack is an emergency. If you have warning signs of heart attack, get help fast. Call triple zero (000) and ask for an ambulance.

Read more on Better Health Channel website

Heart attack

Having one or more signs or symptoms of a heart attack means this is a life-threatening emergency—call triple zero (000) for an ambulance immediately.

Read more on St John Ambulance Australia website

StrokeLine | Stroke Foundation - Australia

Stroke is always a medical emergency, if you think you or someone you know is having a stroke, call triple zero (000) immediately

Read more on Stroke Foundation website

Calling 000 | NT.GOV.AU

When to call 000 and what happens when you do.

Read more on NT Health website

Teach your child to call 000 | NT.GOV.AU

How to teach children as young as three to call 000 in an emergency.

Read more on NT Health website

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information and advice

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Victorian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo

Healthdirect Australia acknowledges the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia and their continuing connection to land, sea and community. We pay our respects to the Traditional Owners and to Elders both past and present.