If there is an emergency, and a first responder is needed, call, 9-1-1. Of course, if it is simply a dog barking or an annoying neighbor, do not use 9-1-1. However, for car accidents, always call 9-1-1. Why? Because, at the very least, police are needed, always.
Do not be anxious
For some, calling 9-1-1 is a scary, anxiety inducing thought. However, 9-1-1 Dispatchers are there to help, and they are paid for with our taxes. The service is there for us to use when emergencies happen, like motor vehicle accidents.
Step 1: stay calm
The dispatcher is looking for information, and the best way to make sure they get what they need is to stay calm. Breathe. Take a breath before talking and take one before calling. The simple act of breathing can help one stay calm, especially after witnessing or being involved in a car accident.
Step 2: figure out where the accident occurred
The first thing a dispatcher will need to know is where the car accident occurred. Know this information before calling. Look around, check the GPS or ask other witnesses. Knowing this information before the call will make it much less stress-inducing.
Step 3: ask for what is needed, specifically
New Jersey 9-1-1 Dispatchers, like dispatchers throughout the United States, are trained to only dispatch first responders when needed. Unfortunately, with budgets shrinking and the increased need for their services over the past few years, some dispatchers look for reasons not to dispatch first responders. Do not give them a reason.
Example of conciseness
There was a car accident at the corner of Bell Avenue and Brown Street in Lawnside, New Jersey. We need a police officer and an ambulance because it is a serious accident that probably has some injured people.
What to do next
For Lawnside witnesses, stay on the phone. Give all the details that are asked, and be sure to leave identifying information. However, for those involved in the car accident, it may be advisable to disconnect the call to avoid giving out bad information or information that could be misconstrued and used against them in a subsequent personal injury lawsuit.