Making a 999 Call

Making a 999 Call

Can I call 999 if I have no credit on my phone?

Yes. This is an emergency call and is therefore not chargeable, so you can make these calls even if you do not have sufficient credit. You can also make a 999 call from a payphone without inserting money.

Is there an interpreter service available?

Our control room has an interpreter service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. If you can, tell the operator what language you speak or what country you are from.

What if I need Police and Ambulance when making this call?

The operator will request the assistance of the police/ambulance if their attendance is also required. As a caller, you can put in a call to the other emergency services if you so wish, but be assured that the fire service control room will contact these other agencies if deemed necessary.

What information would I need to provide?

  • The location/address of the incident
  • A description of what is happening

Further questions such as the following may be asked;

  • Are there any casualties? If so, how many?
  • Do you have an idea of the age of the casualty in question?
  • Are there any obstructions to accessing the incident?
  • Does the building (block of flats) have an access code?
  • Can you smell any chemicals or fuel?

Do not be afraid to say you do not know. Our operators will lead the call.

What is classed as an emergency?

Anything that poses a danger or risk to life, property or environment.

  • A fire
  • Road traffic collision
  • Animal rescues
  • Unsafe structures
  • Chemical leaks or spillages
  • Fire/Carbon monoxide alarms

This list is not exhaustive.

Will our operator be able to help you and give you advice to help keep you safe until we arrive?

Our fire control operators are trained to deal with all types of emergencies. They have received extensive training in the appropriate and most effective safety advice to offer callers to help keep them as safe as possible until help arrives on the scene. Always follow the advice given to you by the fire control operator, as your safety is paramount to us.

Will we know where you are calling from?

This depends on your method of call.

  • Mobile phones - dependent on signal strength- will give us a general idea of the area you are calling, but our operator will then ask questions to narrow down and pinpoint your location.
  • Landline—In most cases, landline calls display your address details. Our operator will always confirm your address with you.
  • Payphones - calls made from payphones are traceable, and our operator will know the location.

Alternatively, you can download the What3words app.

What3words is designed to identify your location; it can pinpoint where you are and give you a 3-word address for your current position.

3-word addresses are far more accurate, referring to a specific 3m x 3m area. As the entire what3words grid is fixed, the 3-word address for a particular location will never change, even if buildings or streets are redeveloped.

Learn more, here what3words /// The simplest way to talk about location