June 2017 was the 80th anniversary of the world’s oldest emergency service, 999, launched by BT back in 1937. Around 1,000 calls were made within the first week of the launch.
Today, BT deal with over 560,000 calls a week. aAround 97% of those calls are answered within 5 seconds. Calls are handled by 700+ operators in multiple operator assistance centres that are spread around the UK.
Hoax or non-emergency calls towards the 999 service has always been a major issue since its launch. There have been numerous public information campaigns to educate people on the right use of it. According to an article by the BBC, “emergency services often release details of time-wasting calls they receive in a bid to urge people to think twice before calling 999”.
Over the past 80 years, they have received some remarkable non-emergency calls through the 999 service. Here are just three offenders:
- A man rang 999 because his wife wouldn’t give him the remote.
- A woman called 999 to complain that the sprinkles on her ice cream were unevenly spread.
- When asked ‘Do you need fire, ambulance or police’, a young caller replied ‘Mountain rescue’, because they couldn’t get down from the top bunk.
Bypassing the 999 Service
At Guardian24, our lone worker protection service is accredited to BS 8484:2016. This gives our Controllers direct access to police control rooms, thus bypassing the 999 service for a quicker response. We’re entrusted with Police URN’s because we filter out non-emergency calls and false alarms. The lone worker industry only raises around 0.2% of incoming alarms towards the police. This relieves the pressure on the 999 service by saving them time, money and resources in order to deal with all the false or non-emergency alarms.
Controllers at our ARC are fully trained to deal with a wide range of situations and they always take the necessary steps to ensure that the right response is provided to a lone worker at the right time. Please feel free to contact us to find out more information on how our ARC works and how effective we are at providing a fast response to your lone workers in an emergency via the help of our wide range of lone worker solutions.