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Comment: An emergency lifeline to be proud of
1:10pm Friday 29th June 2012 in Opinion
EVERYONE in Britain knows what to do if they face a crisis which needs police, ambulance, the fire brigade or all three.
And it’s hard to imagine life without the swift response we are all used to thanks to the nationwide 999 emergency service.
But it is only 75 years since the vital telephone lifeline was launched with Burnley as a trial area, quickly followed by Blackburn and Accrington.
While many other telephone services have moved not just to other parts of the country but to other continents, the 999 service hasn’t – for every good reasons.
If someone is facing a life-threatening situation they are likely to be frightened and in panic.
That means the telephone operator needs to have the ability to keep them calm, and immediately understand what is being said. On top of that, because time is likely to be critical, good local knowledge is vital.
All of these requirements mean that everyone wants the operator answering their 999 call to be as local as possible.
For all these reasons we should be proud that at Blackburn’s Jubilee Street exchange we have the northern England hub for 999 calls.