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999 and Lone Worker Industry

30/06/2017 was the 80th anniversary of the world’s oldest emergency service, 999, launched by BT back in 1937. Around a 1000 calls were made within the first week of the launch. Today, BT advisors deal with over 560,000 calls a week and around 97% of those calls are answered within 5 seconds (BT, 2017). Calls are handled by 700+ operators in multiple operator assistance centres (OAC’s) that are spread around the UK.

Hoax or non-emergency calls towards the 999 service has always been a major issue since its launch, and in its history, there have been many public information campaigns in the UK to educate people on the right use of it. According to a recent 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 and we have highlighted some of the worst offenders below:

– A man rang 999 because his wife wouldn’t give him the remote

– One 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…Read More