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Insight into work of ambulance service

Ambulance on the move

5:00am 30th June 2017

We'll be able to find out more about some of the 999 calls received by the North West Ambulance Service today.

They're going to be tweeting 999 of the thousands of calls they get today.

It's to mark the 80th anniversary of the emergency number.

Head of Communications, Julie Treharne explains:

"It is a common misconception that every 999 call we receive results in an ambulance being sent, when in fact last year alone, over 135,000 calls were dealt with over the phone with one of our specialist paramedics. They may decide to refer the patient to a local GP or offer self-care advice instead."

The 999 number was first introduced in London in 1937 and was the world's first emergency number.

Just 1,336 calls were made in the first week compared to staggering approximate 700,000 now.

North West Ambulance Service has three centres which answer 999 calls in the region - based in Liverpool, Broughton and Manchester.

These operate on a 24/7 basis, have just under 500 staff on the rota and last year, answered 1.24 million calls.

Director of Operations, Ged Blezard, who is responsible for the 999 call centres comments:

"Our call centre staff work very hard and play a vital role in the care of our patients. There are many people alive today because of their actions. Emergency Medical Dispatchers, those who answer the calls, can be talking to someone about an injured knee on one call and on the next instruct a wife on how to give her husband chest compressions after a cardiac arrest. We completely regard those staff as being as much a part of the frontline of our Service as those who arrive in ambulances."

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