999 Operator helped my colleague

When a work colleague started showing signs of a stroke – I knew I had to act fast and that time was key but couldn’t remember the rules of a stroke. I dialled 999 and told the operator what was happening. They repeated the stroke indicators slow enough for me to act and assess the situation. An ambulance was on scene very quickly and took over.

In the relief I hung up and tried to recover from a traumatic 14 minutes – yet on reflection, I never got chance to say thank you to the voice on the other end of the telephone. The voice that not only helped me but helped my colleague. I still believe to this day that, the quick response and assessment from the that lady made a massive impact of the severity.

Pete Braydon, Rotherham

It might be just work ‘the day job’  but to to me, it was everything

There was someone on my property whilst my family lay sleeping – I was frightened, scared and concerned. I called 999, not making much sense – trying to be quiet, calm and helpful but inside I anything but.

The 999 call handler reassured me, told me help was on its way and to focus on staying calm and still. I soon heard the sirens, soon followed by police officers – the operator still on the phone, talking me through what was happening.

That night I spoke to a stranger on the phone – a stranger who made me feel safe when I was so frightened. I’ll never meet that person, it was all in a night’s work from them – but to me, it was everything.

Donna White, Middlesborough

Being on the phone with a call handler meant I wasn’t alone

Last year, travelling to work early one morning, I was behind a motorcycle accident. The guy had come off his bike on a bend and was laid unconscious.

I called 999 who talked me through some quick checks to do but it was clear he was in a bad way – they walked me through, step by step how to take his helmet off and administer CPR until the Ambulance arrived and they took over.

On that road, early in the morning – all on my own with this critically ill man in front of me, I felt the like everything was happening in slow motion but the quick thinking and calmness of the 999 operator, talking to me the whole time meant I wasn’t alone.

Thank you for trying to help.

Steven Lynn, Sheffield

It’s not until you ring 999 that you appreciate the scale of what the call handlers and dispatchers do

I had to call 999 recently when the working man club near me caught fire. It was early in the morning and at first, I thought it was mist. On closer inspection I realised it was a fire. I called 999 and was instructed to stay clear, keep other people away and not to entry the building. The flames quickly took hold of the building – but thanks to the information I was given over the phone, I’d made sure everyone was well back.

The 999 operator stayed on the phone with me until a fire engine was with us – it was then over to them.

Its not until you ring 999 that you appreciate the scale of what these people do, day in and day out.

Graham Asling, Beverley

The voice of reason in a chaotic situation

I’ve suffered with my mental health for many years – sometimes it’s manageable and others it consumes me.
In February this year, in the grips of a really bad episode I felt there was no way out – that I would never feel well again and that I had no other option left.
I put myself in danger and didn’t care about the consequences – It didn’t matter to me what the outcome was.
Luckily, it mattered to a passerby who called 999 – what happened within the next 2 hours was a blur, yet gave me the clarity I needed to see sense.
That fact that I mattered to these people, the fact they cared and listened to me and spent the time talking to me – give me the strength to continue battling.
I’ll never meet the lady who spoke to me on the 999 line – but I will forever be grateful for her encouraging and soothing words.

Anonymous, Plymouth

You are always there – no matter what time, place or situation

Luckily, I’ve never had to call 999 and my dealings with the emergency services have been minimal. But I wanted to take this opportunity to say ‘Thank You’ to everyone who works within the emergency services – from answering the calls, dispatching vehicles to the front line staff attending the situations…and everyone in between.
Our emergency services are there when we need them, no matter what time, where or who you are – they turn up and offer help.
I feel super proud to have them on our side and feel safe in the knowledge that should I ever need them – they’ll be there.

Kat Jeffery, Hull

You make sacrifices so we don’t have to.

Having grown up in a house full of emergency service staff I wanted to share another side of the emergency services that most people don’t see or recognise.

My mum and brother both work in a control room – my mum for 17 years and my brother for 6 years, they love it and invest so much of themselves into it.
Over the years my mum has missed birthdays, school plays, christenings, date nights and celebrations due to work and likewise my brother declines holidays and uni catch ups when they don’t suit his shifts.
They do this with a smile and never complain – it’s all part of the job and part of the service.
I see them when they are tired, I see them after a tough shift and I see them wave me off as their about to embark on a 12 hour shift in winter – all this makes me super proud and I can confirm they are #UnsungHeroes of the emergency services.

Sarah, Glasgow