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If things go wrong

Here's a quick checklist to help you know what to do if anything goes wrong when you and your friends are out partying:

What to do in an emergency

What happens when I call 000?

000 is a free call from anywhere in Australia, including mobiles. If your mobile phone is out of range from your normal network then you can dial 112. When you call:

  • Your call is connected to the Emergency Call Service (ECS)
  • ECS will answer - 'Emergency - police fire or ambulance?' (If the caller is on a mobile telephone they will be asked for the city and state they are in)
  • Respond with the service/location you require
  • Your call will then be connected to the relevant emergency service

Calling for an ambulance

When you call for an ambulance you should try and tell the operator:

  • The location of the emergency including nearby landmarks
  • The telephone number from where the call is being made
  • What happened
  • How many people require assistance
  • Condition of the people
  • What assistance is being given
  • Any other information requested

Don't hang up until the emergency services operator does.

Assessing an emergency situation

Check those with injuries and make note of the following:

  • Do they respond in any way when you squeeze their ear lobe or shoulders?
  • Are they breathing? If not, somebody needs to start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation
  • Do they have a pulse? If not, somebody needs to start Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR)

Drug overdose

If a person collapses after using drugs:

  • Call an ambulance on 000 as fast as you can
  • Stay with the person
  • Try to keep them awake
  • If they're unconscious and breathing, turn them on their side
  • If they're not breathing, start mouth-to-mouth resuscitation

When the paramedics arrive, give them the information they need - tell them exactly what the ill person has been taking. Paramedics are happy to provide advice and assistance in a non-judgemental way and remember, police don't chase ambulances, police don't listen to ambulance radios for overdoses and police don't attend overdoses unless called.

Calling the police

If violence erupts or if you've been assaulted, mugged etc. call the police on 000 from your mobile phone or a public phone box (the call is free from all phones, including mobile phones).

When you are connected to Victoria Police the call taker will ask:

  • 'Police and emergency services - where is your emergency?'
  • 'What has happened?'
  • 'When did this happen?'

Calmly answer all the questions asked by the call taker. Police will then be dispatched to assist with the emergency.

Sexual assault

It can be very difficult to know what to do if you or a friend has been sexually assaulted. If you contact a Centre Against Sexual Assault (CASA), a counsellor/advocate can help you decide what to do and work with you to help you recover from the effects of your experience.

There are 15 CASAs throughout Victoria. You can call a local Centre (new window) during the day or the Sexual Assault Crisis Line after hours on 1800 806 292.

Our Sexual Assault page has more information.

Other situations

Here are some tips and advice for dealing with other situations that may arise during schoolies:

Drink spiking. If you think your drink's been spiked, don't drink it. Tell bar staff and inform the police. If you're feeling ill after consuming a drink, tell your friends and tell the bar staff. Ask a friend to take you somewhere safe or to a doctor or hospital.

Missing friends. If you've lost a friend or you can't contact them by phone, chances are they will turn up safe and well within a few hours. But if they don't turn up in a reasonable timeframe and you suspect foul play, contact the police. Never go 'missing' on your friends. If you're unable to meet them at a prearranged time or aren't coming home, be considerate and let someone know. If it's late and you don't want to wake them, just send an SMS.

Aggression. If someone's trying to pick a fight with you, the best thing you can do is walk away. Don't retaliate. If you're at a venue or event, tell security or bar staff. If the harassment persists, call police if there is no security or bar staff to help you. Stay close to other people and don't wander off on your own.

Fights. Never hang around to watch a fight because bystanders get injured, too. If you're in a public place, get your friends and leave. If you're in a crowded venue like a nightclub, try to get as far away as possible from the fight and clear the way for security staff. If you're too close to the fight, there's a good chance that you could get bumped around a bit while the fight is being broken up.

Lost or stolen wallet. If you lose your wallet or it's stolen, cancel your bank and credit cards (banks provide a 24-hour service for reporting lost or stolen credit cards) and inform police, especially if you've lost your ID (but don't call 000, just go to the local police station). Hopefully you've got a spare stash of cash! It's always a good idea to leave some money hidden at your accommodation for emergency situations such as this.

Lost or stolen phone. Contact your mobile phone service provider because you may need to put a block on your phone to prevent people from using it inappropriately. You may need to report the theft to police if you wish to claim it on insurance. Don't call 000 because it's not an emergency - just visit the nearest police station.

Feeling really sick and hungover. If you've had too much to drink, stop drinking alcohol immediately. Drink plenty of water because this is what your body needs. A sports drink may also help replace lost nutrients and fluids. If you can't stop vomiting, go to a doctor or hospital. Make sure a friend stays with you to keep you safe and comfortable.

Minor injuries. If you or a friend is injured (e.g. an accident with broken glass, a fall, or an injured or strained muscle), report the injury to bar staff or the venue manager. Apply first aid immediately. If it's more serious, go to a doctor or hospital and make sure someone stays with you.

Related links

Reach Out! - What to do in an emergency
Excellent information describing what to do in an emergency situation, including drug overdoses, self-harm, and if someone goes missing.

Victoria Police - Emergency assistance
Describes the emergency assistance service. Outlines what happens when you call 000, what happens when you're connected to Victoria Police, what if you need more than one emergency service, and when not to call 000.

Better Health Channel - First aid
Links to a range of first aid topics including bites and stings.

Department of Human Services

This content must not be reused or reproduced without consent from Department of Human Services.