To call an ambulance for a medical emergency, dial 111.

 What to do during the call

1. Your call will be answered initially by a Spark operator who will ask which service you are requesting, Police, Fire or Ambulance. Ask for Ambulance and you will be transferred to one of our Clinical Communications Centres.

Communications Centre Officer
Communications Centre Officer

2. When your call is answered by a Call Handler we will ask a series of questions. The first question we will ask you ‘what’s the exact address of the emergency?’ When providing the address, include as much detail as you can e.g. the business name, apartment/unit name and number.

3. The second question we ask is ‘what’s the telephone number you’re calling from?’ – if you’re at work and have an extension, make sure you give us that too.

4. We will then say ‘okay, tell me exactly what happened?’.

5.The Call Handler will then ask specific questions relating to the reason for your call. These questions are necessary to arrange the best care for the patient. Possible questions include the following:

  • Are you with the patient?
  • How old is the patient?
  • Is the patient awake?
  • Is the patient breathing?

6. Whilst the Call Handler is taking all the relevant information a Dispatcher will already be arranging the most appropriate help for the patient. In some cases, an Ambulance may arrive while you are still speaking with the Call Handler.

7. Once all the information has been gathered the Call Handler will provide instructions to assist you/the patient until help arrives, If necessary the Call Handler will stay on the line to give you support and further instructions until help arrives. During this time we might ask some additional questions to provide as much information as possible.


St John communications centre

St John communications centre

Medical advice

For medical advice please call Healthline on 0800 611 116.

General enquiry

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