A Conversation for How to Call for an Emergency Ambulance in the UK

I always thought this was to screen for hoax calls?

Post 1


"The number one priority at that point in time is to get your phone number so that a point of contact is made should the line become disconnected. So please, don't shout over the operator while he or she does this."

The bit at the start of the call when you have to clearly read out the number of the phone you are calling from - even though you've just heard it spoken over the line by the initial operator as you're connected to the emergency service, and the switchboard can presumably see and read the caller's number. I can see it as being a detterent to a spur-of-the-moment hoax caller ringing from an unfamiliar phone, but...

I can see this having implications if you're ringing from a mobile you've just borrowed from someone else, or taken from the casuality, so as to ring 999 on their behalf.. how the heck are you supposed to know what their number is?

It's a'so struck me as bad psychology, too, as if the system is clearly sending out a message that until proven otherwise, all calls are automatically being treated as time-wasting hoaxes... on the l;ast few times I've had to ring 999 (last occassion being February), I always felt vaguely insulted by this.

Ah well, there are genuine idiots out there and they have to be guarded against, but there must be a better way...

I always thought this was to screen for hoax calls?

Post 2


Until fairly recently the only way of getting the callers number was verbally from the operator and it is good practice to confirm this with the caller - even the operator mixes up numbers sometimes. Nowadays the number is usually transmitted electronically but again this is not totally error-proof. Getting that contact number is vitally important though and this is the only reason for the apparent duplication of information, frustrating as it may seem. Hoax calls are a fact of life for the emergency services but trying to catch hoaxers out in the first few seconds of a call is not even a consideration.

If you don't know the number you are calling from, just say so, the operator can usually confirm it to the call-handler after you have finished the call.

I am sorry you felt vaguely insulted, but believe me, all calls are treated as genuine until proved otherwise.

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I always thought this was to screen for hoax calls?

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