What To Do If You Have To Call 999

What is 999?

999 is an emergency number to be used when someones life is at risk. Through 999 you can call the police, fire service, ambulance and coast guard. 

When to call

  • A person in immediate danger of injury or whose life is at risk
  • Suspicion that a crime is in progress
  • A structure on fire
  • Another serious incident which needs immediate emergency service attendance

What to do when you call

When you call 999 the operator will say "Emergency. Which service?"

You will request either police, fire, ambulance, or coast guard. 

You'll need the following info:

  • Your location, including the area or postcode
  • The phone number you are calling from
  • Exactly what has happened

If you have requested an ambulance you may also be asked:

  • The patient’s age, gender and any medical history
  • Whether the patient is awake/conscious, breathing and if there is any serious bleeding or chest pain
  • Details of the injury and how it happened.

If you have requested the fire service you may also be asked

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

How you can assist the ambulance crew 

  • If you are in the street, stay with the patient until help arrives
  • Call the ambulance service back if the patient's condition changes
  • Call the ambulance service back if your location changes
  • If you are calling from home or work, ask someone to open the doors and signal where the ambulance staff are needed.
  • Lock away family pets
  • If you can, write down the patient's GP details and collect any medication they are taking
  • If you can, inform the paramedics about any allergies the patient has
  • Stay calm