You may have seen regular media reports on non 999 emergency calls made by the public. A article on the BBC highlighted some of the more bizarre calls made to the London fire brigade. According to the article, recent 999 non emergency calls include:
- Someone who had lost their false teeth
- A spider crawling onto a bed pillow
- A woman who had thrown water out of a glass that contained her dentures
- A shoe stuck on a garage roof
- A woman who was afraid of a fox in a garden because it had a strange look on its face.
Whilst we can all chuckle at the calls, the London Fire Brigade were making a serious point. Like all emergency services, they are here to respond to real emergencies, to save lives. So it doesn’t really help when 999 emergency calls are made for relatively trivial matters.
Here at Telecare24, our highly trained operators are also used to getting the occasional call, in fact my own father in law who has dementia pressed his pendant alarm twice recently. Once for advice on how to change a DVD and another to ask them to locate his wife as she’d been to the chippy too long!
Of course we handle such calls with a great deal of sensitivity. Like all 999 emergency call operators, Telecare24 Operators are trained to deal with any emergency situation. Our average call response time is under 10 seconds.
However, quite often we are asked what action we take to ensure a rapid response.
How do we get help to the alarm user as quickly as possible?
Below you will find the process our operators use to make sure the correct help is sent. As soon as the pendant is pressed, a two way conversation is activated via the alarm. Our operator will know everything about the user – address, next of kin or key holders and medical history.
- We will find out what has prompted the alarm call and decide on the most appropriate course of action.
- If its a minor situation, our operator will contact a key holder and request they attend the property to assist.
- If the situation is more serious in nature, our operator will contact the local emergency services and request paramedic support.
- If the alarm caller is unable to verbally respond, our operator will try and call the home telephone to speak to someone. If no one responds to this call, paramedics are requested.
In all cases, our operators stay on the line to provide reassurance until assistance arrives.
We hope this information is helpful. If so, please check out our blog for more information.