Know Where You Are
When making an emergency call gather as much information about your location as you possibly can,
including the street name, area name, postal district and any important landmarks that will make it easier to
find you. If you are calling from a telephone box or landline your call can be traced; if you do not know where
you are it is best to use one of these if possible. Unfortunately it is rather difficult to trace the exact location
of a mobile phone.
Know What The Problem Is
Many calls are made to the emergency line by people who do not know what the problem is or what is
happening. An ambulance is unlikely to be sent until the details of the situation are known. This is because:
- Calls are dealt with in order of importance.
- There are other emergency responders, not just ambulances; there are helicopters, cars, bicycles and
emergency care practitioners which could be sent depending upon the requirements of a situation.
- Ambulance crews need to be aware of the situation they are going into beforehand.
Stay With The Casualty
You will need to answer a few questions about the casualty and possibly perform first aid; it is of great
importance you are close to the casualty at all times.
Do Not Waffle
Give clear and concise answers to questions and do not be afraid to say ‘I don’t know’ if you are unsure of
Do Not Hang Up Until Told To Do So
A call to an emergency line will last approximately 2-3 minutes or until the ambulance arrives. Do not hang
up until the operator asks you to do so. The length of the call has absolutely no bearing on how long it will
take for the ambulance to arrive, and what the operator is telling you is very important.
Trust The Operator
Do not waste time telling the operator things like: ‘’Hurry! It’s an emergency! Stop asking questions and just
send an ambulance’’. They have been trained to treat any call to an emergency line as urgent, and the
questions they ask are vital.
Meet The Ambulance
If you have someone else at the scene, get them to stand outside, somewhere that will be easily visible and
to wave to make their presence known to the ambulance. The location may be obvious to you, but it is not
always obvious to the ambulance crew.
Keep Your Phone Switched On
If you cannot keep your phone switched on give an alternative number. Often you will be called back and be
asked to provide additional information.
Keep A Civil Tongue
Do not be rude to the operator and start cursing. Getting upset and arguing is not going to help anybody and
may only make the situation worse than it already is.
Learn First Aid
You can get instructions over the phone about delivering first aid, but do not wait until you are in an emergency
to learn the basics. There are many organisations that offer first aid courses, and you never know when you
may need it.