What happens when you call 999?
Have you ever wondered what actually happens on the other side of the phone line when you call 999? If you’ve ever had to make that call, it’s often not very clear what happens from when you dial those 3 numbers to someone arriving at the scene to help.
LIVES works in partnership with the emergency services, so if you ever make a 999 call for medical help, a LIVES responder may be one of the people sent to you. But how does that all work?
In Lincolnshire, if you call 999 and need an ambulance or medical help, you’ll be put through to the control room at the East Midlands Ambulance Service, where all 999 and 111 calls related to medical emergencies are handled.
The person who has taken your call at the control room is a control dispatcher; they will gather the necessary information in order to dispatch the best possible resources to you. One of those resources could likely be a LIVES responder or medic.
When a LIVES responder is available to respond, they will log ‘on-call’ and be visible to the control dispatcher. This means they can locate the appropriate LIVES responder to you and dispatch them to the scene of the emergency.
Does this mean an ambulance won’t be sent? No, a LIVES responder will never be sent in place of any other resource. Depending on the type of call and level of emergency, the control dispatcher will dispatch any other resources needed too, such as an ambulance, doctor or paramedic.
But for 80% of the emergencies LIVES responders are mobilised to, we arrive on scene first. This is often in a matter of minutes, which makes a vital difference in life-threating emergencies when every minute matters.
The LIVES responder will stay on scene, treating and caring for the patient as needed until the ambulance service or other resource arrives and continue to assist or handover.
Everyone plays their part in a medical emergency, right from the person making the call to when the patient arrives in hospital, and the role a LIVES responder plays is just as important as any.