Making a 999

When you dial 999/112, your call will be answered by a telephone exchange operator who will ask you which emergency service you require and the telephone number that you are dialling from. You must then stay on the line where you will then be connected

you can ask for

FIRE

POLICE

AMBULANCE

COAST GUARD

MOUNTAIN RESCUE ( you will be put through to the police for the area and they call out the mountain rescue)

STAY ON THE LINE ( mobile phone users this is very important as its not like in CSI or NCIS  they cant pinpoint you .If your in a street give them the street name and if outside a house tell them your outside Number ** or near an identifiable building. But remember  its not the local police,fire,ambulance its the main control room so they wont even be in the same town as you.They might not know the area so give them as much detail as poss )

FIRE

The Control Operator Will Ask You Some Questions

  • What is on fire?
  • What is the address?
  • What is the nearest main road?
  • What town are you in?

Don’t put the telephone down until we have taken all the details!

Why are these questions asked?

  • We need to know what is on fire or what other emergency you have to enable us to decide what our response will be.
  • We need to know the address where the emergency is. This information is entered into our computer database to start a search of the address.
  • The nearest main road assists us in narrowing the search which saves time.
  • Fire and Rescue Services can cover complete counties and knowing which town you are in within the county will save time in locating the incident. This will complete the search and locate the correct address.
  • We need to know the telephone number that you are calling from, so that we can contact you again if we need any further information from you. This information is not given to anyone other than emergency service personnel.
  • Giving your address can be useful. This can be used as guidance to where the fire has been seen from.
  • If you are unfamiliar with the area and are unable to give a precise address you will be asked for any landmarks that you can see.
  • It may seem as though you are being asked too many questions and your call is taking too long to deal with. Don’t worry, the Fire and Rescue Service will already be on the way whilst you are still talking to the Operator.

What Happens Next?

Emergency calls to the Fire and Rescue Control Room are handled, from receipt of the call to mobilising the Fire Appliance, in less than 60 seconds.

If you have a fire – Do not attempt to extinguish it unless it is safe to do so. Leave the property, closing all the doors behind you and do not go back in to the property until you are told it is safe to do so by the firefighters who attend.

If you are trapped in a fire situation and are unable to leave your properly safely, the fire control operator will stay on the line with you and give you fire survival guidance to help you until the fire engine arrives.

POLICE

  • When there is a threat to life (including road traffic accidents where persons are injured, the road is blocked or a vehicle involved in the accident has failed to stop).
  • Violence to a person or damage to property is imminent.
  • A serious offence is actually in progress.
  • A suspected offender is still at the scene of a crime or any delay in reporting the incident may prevent the offender being apprehended.
  • Serious disruption to the public is currently taking place or, is likely to take place.

AMBULANCE

You will then be put through to a Control Operator who will ask a series of question, such as:

  • What address is the 999 call being made from?
  • What’s the patient’s problem?
  • What’s the patient’s approximate age?
  • Is the patient male/female?
  • What’s the patients name?
  • What’s your name?
  • Is the patient conscious?

Don’t worry about these questions delaying our response.  They actually do the opposite.  They ensure we send the right type of vehicle to the right location as promptly as possible – and your replies allow the Control Operator to let the crew know the patient’s problem before they arrive.

Also, they allow the Control Operator to provide advice (over the telephone) on what to do for the patient - such as giving the “kiss of life.”

If you have asked for more than one emergency service  STAY ON THE LINE as the 999 operator will connect you to the other services you have requested

if you are on a motorway   let them know if your eastbound ,westbound,northbound,southbound.What was the last junction you past  also look for the little marker post on the side of the road ever 100 meters or so  they have a number on them and they point to the nearest emergency telephone

Accidental calls from mobile phones

A great many accidental calls come from mobile phones, often when phone keypads get knocked or squashed while the phones are in people’s pockets or bags. We are working with our comunications contractors on ways to automatically detect and deal with this sort of call, however it is still important for phone users to try to take precautions.

Most mobile telephones have a keypad lock that will prevent accidental dialling to 999, however keypad locks do not often fail to guard against another type of accidental call. The European emergency number is 112 and this number will override keypad locks so care should still be taken to prevent the keypad being knocked or pressed accidentally

Callers from mobile telephones should consider their location before calling 999 so that emergency services can respond as quickly as possible

HILL WALKERS

TRY to give your location. The nearest town,the walk you are doing a grid reference ,long/ lat they to give as much a possable

If your calling from a hill your phone signal my be picked up by a celltower for another area and you call is put through to a control room for the wrong area DO NOT PANIC this happens and the operators are trained for this.If it does happen. If you can give the operator the name of the nearest town or village or the local dialing code if know as this will help the operator route you to the correct area. The reason this happens is that each cell tower is assigned to a area but if your up high you signal may be pickup by a cell from another area.

It has been know for a 112 call made form a mobile in Dover to be picked up in france

History of the 999 number

History

The 999 service was introduced on 30 June 1937 in the London area, and later nationally. The system is said to have been introduced in the light of the deteriorating international situation and the impending possibility of war. 999 was chosen because of the need for the code to be able to be dialled from A/B button public telephones. The telephone dial (GPO Dial No 11) used with these coin-boxes allowed the digit ’0′ to be dialled without inserting any money, and it was very easy to adapt the dial to dial ’9′ without inserting money. All other digits from 2 to 8 were in use somewhere in the UK as the initial digits for subscribers’ telephone numbers and hence could not easily be used. Had any other digits been used, other digits between that one and the already free ’0′ would also have been able to be dialled free of charge. No other telephone numbers existed using combinations of the digits ’9′ and ’0′ (other than one in Woolwich) therefore there would be no unauthorised ‘free’ calls. Another determining factor was that in many rural exchanges subscribers already dialed the routing digit 9 to call numbers on their parent exchange. This meant that 999 could be made available with no changes at those outlying exchanges, since the main exchange could simply route to the operator when 99 was dialed into its incoming trunks.

Thus the easy conversion of coin-box dial was the deciding factor and the fact that 999 was not used anywhere, other than for accessing the occasional ‘position 9′ of an Engineering Test Desk in the telephone exchange. Numbers beginning with 1 were excluded for other technical reasons – for example, 111 could be dialled by accident by wires making contact.

A particular advantage of the sequence 9 9 9 was that it could be dialled easily from a dark telephone box, simply by placing two adjacent fingers (the index and middle fingers) in the holes in the dial plate mean the finger stop and dialling the same number 9 thrice with the index finger.

Access to the emergency service is provided for the hearing impaired via Textphone and use of the national ‘typetalk’ relay service. The number is 18000, having previously been 0800 112999.

Since the introduction of mobile phones, the choice of the number 999 has become a particular problem for UK emergency services, as same-digit sequences are most likely dialled by accident due to vibrations and other objects colliding with a keypad. This problem is less of a concern with emergency numbers that use two different digits (e.g., 112, 911).

The pan-European 112 code was introduced in the UK by BT in December 1992, with little publicity. It connects to existing 999 circuits. The GSM standard mandates that the user of a GSM phone can dial 112 without unlocking the keypad, a feature that can save time in emergencies but that also causes some accidental calls. However, a valid SIM card is required to make a 999/112 emergency call in the UK.

On 6 October 1998, BT introduced a new system whereby all the information about the location of the calling telephone was transmitted electronically to the relevant service rather than having to read it out (with the possibility of errors). This system is called EISEC (Enhanced Information Service for Emergency Calls).

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