Interested in Canada?
We'll send you updates with the latest deals, reviews and articles for Canada each week.
Topics include Things to Do, Dining Scene & more!
In case of all fire, police or medical emergencies, call 911 to contact help. Almost all areas of Canada are covered by this emergency help line; however there may be some remote rural areas where there are local numbers to call. All urban and suburban areas are covered by the 911 code system.
All phone calls to 9-1-1 are free, including calls made by pay phone or cell phone. Please note that calls must be of an urgent nature, such as: if you have witnessed a crime that has just occurred or is still in progress; if you see an uncontrolled fire; if medical help is immediately required; if someone is trapped, drowning or taken a serious fall (think life and limb); if something catastrophic has occurred that has the potential to become much worse or could endanger human life (e.g.: landslide on a road, tree down over power lines, flooding) . Do not call 9-1-1 to obtain information, to make a complaint, to report a power outage, or for highway or weather information.The police will respond and you will be fined for abusing emergency services.
When you reach the 9-1-1 centre, you will likely be asked to state the nature of your emergency: fire, police, or ambulance. You will then be asked to give the full details of your emergency. DO NOT HANG UP ON 9-1-1 until the 9-1-1 operator tells you to; only the 9-1-1 operator knows when enough information has been gathered about your emergency and its location. You should not hang up even if you feel you dialed 9-1-1 in error; in many jurisdictions, 9-1-1 operators are required to take action on all 9-1-1 calls, even if the caller hung up the phone without speaking.
Québec, Ontario, Nova Scotia, Alberta and B.C. all have "Good Samaritan" laws which explicitly protect people who give medical or other emergency aid from most liability issues. To trigger "Good Samaritan" protection, the help must be given voluntarily, without any expectation of payment, must be given with the consent of the person helped (if the person being helped is unconscious, consent is assumed), and it must be a good-faith effort to help. "Good Samaritans" are not protected from gross negligence.
Quebec legislation imposes a duty on everyone to help a person in peril, if it can be accomplished without serious risk to the Good Samaritan or a third person. You are required to act as a "reasonably prudent person" when rendering aid, calling 911 is a good way to start.
Canada has government-sponsored health care, but non-Canadian travelers should be advised that Canada will not cover costs of medical services for visitors, so health and travel insurance are essential.