As ambulance staff across the North West continue to save lives despite ongoing pressures facing the NHS, youngsters from the region are showing just how easy it is to know your 999 etiquette.
In a video produced by North West Ambulance Service, a handful of knowledgeable local kids share their expert tips for what to do in an emergency. ‘The Police’, ‘Batman’ and ‘my Nan’ came out on top when asked who they would call in an emergency, and when asked how big an emergency needed to be to dial 999, top answers included ‘as big as a giraffe’ and ‘bigger than a giant’.
When the kids learnt that we receive on average 3,500 calls a day, there were shocked responses all-round. ‘It’s too much’ suggests one, ‘silly sausages’ jokes another, when told that one third of the calls are from people who don’t actually need an ambulance.
This comes as we shared data that shows an increase of 13.1% in 999 calls across November and December 2022 compared to the same months in 2021. November 2022 saw 26.2% more calls into the service compared to the previous year, while December had a rise of 17.3%. With life-threatening reasons ranging from falls and breathing problems, to fainting, people are reaching out to the emergency services more than ever.
However, the real issue is the number of calls that are made to 999 in non-emergency situations. Latest information shows that people are still unsure of when to call the ambulance service, with reasons such as repeat prescriptions and sore throats increasing the number of non-emergency calls.
Ged Blezard, Director of Operations at North West Ambulance Service said: “It’s fantastic to see even the youngest in our community sharing their knowledge and educating people on what to do in an emergency.
“We continue to urge people to only call 999 when facing a life threatening situation so we can continue to help those who need it the most in these challenging times.”
We are advising local communities to think before dialling 999, and only reach out if there is a life threatening situation or illness, including cardiac arrest, allergic reactions, continuous fits and serious head injuries, so they can continue to be there for those most in need.
For any other situations, we encourage using 111online first by checking your symptoms or visiting a local pharmacy for non-urgent medical advice.
For under 5-year-olds, call 111.