Make a 999 call - What to expect
If you need help quickly, or in the case of an emergency, you should ring 999. These calls are free, from any telephone (home phone, pay phone, card phone or mobile phone).
An emergency is when:-
- Someone’s life is at risk
- Someone is injured
- There is a fire
- Offenders are nearby
- Immediate action is required
For home phones, pay phones and card phones, lift the telephone and press 999 on the keypad.
For mobile phones, press 999 on the keypad and then the ‘call’ button (you can still do this if the keypad is locked and even if you have no credit on the phone).
Your call will go through to an emergency telephone operator. They will ask you,
“Which emergency service do you require?”
Ask for the service you need:-
- Fire Service
They will then connect you to the Control Room for the service you have asked for, in whichever area you are phoning from.
The emergency services operator will then ask you a few simple questions:-
- “What has happened?”
- “What is your name”?
- “What is the number of the telephone you are calling from?”
- “Where is the incident?”
- “Is anyone hurt?”
You might be asked other questions to help the operator assist you more quickly. Whilst they are speaking to you, they will also be giving the information to the officers or paramedics who will be on their way to help.
Try not to panic and don’t speak too quickly; just answer the questions as calmly and clearly as you can.
You can also contact the emergency services using 112, the single emergency number for the European Union.
For non-urgent calls to the Police, ring 101. Using 999 for general enquiries may delay response to someone who needs urgent assistance.
Non-urgent calls are when:-
- You want to report a crime or criminal damage
- You want to report a minor road traffic collision
- You want to contact your local Police Officer
- You want to enquire about lost property or provide information to the Police
- You need information or advice
Every time someone makes a hoax or joke 999 call, they put someone else’s life in danger.
If an ambulance, fire or police crew is sent on a wild goose chase, it means they are not available when someone really needs their help. It could be a matter of life or death.
Hoax calls can be traced and hoax callers run the risk of a heavy fine or even a prison sentence.
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