Know the mobile ‘phone number you are calling from, even if it not your 'phone. The telephone number you are calling from needs to be confirmed, whether mobile or landline, early on in the call.  If you get disconnected the call taker you were speaking to will call you back, so stay close to the ‘phone and do not try to call again, wait for the service to call you back.  That way you will speak to the same call taker and can pick up where you left off rather than needing to start again.  Sometimes you will not need to stay on the line until the ambulance arrives.  In this case keep the ‘phone near you, or ask someone to stay with the ‘phone as the ambulance service may need to call you back for further information about the casualty or your location.

If you are disconnected and the call taker does not ring you back soon, call them again.  It may be that there is a problem with your signal and they can’t get through, whereas your ‘phone will ‘piggy-back’ on another network.

Know where your speaker button is.  Many landlines and all mobiles have a ‘speakerphone’ function.  Switching this on allows the ambulance call taker to give you support and instructions before the ambulance arrives without taking up one of your hands holding the ‘phone.  This is particularly helpful if you are needing to perform CPR or another life-saving skill that requires two hands!  On some occasions however it may be prudent for the casualty not to hear your conversation with the ambulance service if you feel it may cause them distress or anxiety, so you will need to assess each situation individually.

If you are handed a locked mobile ‘phone to use to call the emergency services, or, for example, you need to use the casualty’s ‘phone and don’t know the code to unlock the screen there will be a button on the locked screen which says ‘emergency call’ or ‘emergency’.  Pushing this button will cause a second keypad to be displayed from which you can call the emergency services.  Some phones will also allow you to access the owner’s ‘ICE’ (in case of emergency) information from this emergency screen if they have entered it in.


AuthorSam Palmer