I am 999

Dispatching police officers to a fatal road traffic collision – only to find out later that the person killed is your own dad.

Talking to someone with a noose around their neck, stood on tip toes on a stool. Hearing the officer on the radio telling you to keep talking, your voice, your support is stopping the person kicking the stool away.

Speaking to someone trapped in an alight vehicle, bringing back memories of the time you’ve been in the same situation.

Hearing the last breaths of someone and finding out later that they’ve been killed – by their husband.

The person telling you that they’ve taken an overdose and they just rang you because they wanted someone to hear them die.

The sound of the knife cutting skin as you listen to someone harming themselves.

The gurgling sound of someone whose throat has been slashed.

Someone locked in a burning building – they can’t get out. What do you say to someone in that situation?

We get a lot of angry and abusive calls, we’re used to that. We can handle that. Those aren’t the difficult calls.

The hardest calls are the ones where people really need your help.

The ones where every second counts.

Where your advice can make the difference between life and death.
Or when there is nothing you can do because it’s too late.

The ones where you realise that the person who has been found hanging is someone you went to school with, your friend, or even your family member.

This is what our call handlers and dispatchers are faced with every day.

It’s an incredibly difficult job and they do amazing work, being the first port of call for some of the most traumatic and harrowing incidents you can imagine.

For more examples from the #IAM999 campaign, follow us on Twitter.

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