999 Ambulance Response - Things you need to know

The 999 Ambulance Service dispatches our First Response volunteers and the front line 
Emergency Ambulance.

There are a few things that you need to know to ensure you have the best possible outcome. There are only so many resources out there to help, don't let someone in real need wait if you don't need an ambulance. 

When to call 999 - What to do after you have called - Help the emergency services find you

  • When to Call 999 for an Ambulance?
    • If you have chest pain (BHF). The Ambulance control will help work out what could be the problem. 
      • Common, or typical symptoms include:
        • Central chest pain
        • The pain can spread to the arms, neck or jaw
        • Feeling sick or sweaty as well as having central chest pain
        • Feeling short of breath as well as having central chest pain.
        Symptoms vary and some people may feel any of the following:
        • A dull pain, ache, or 'heavy' feeling in the chest
        • A mild discomfort in the chest that makes you feel generally unwell
        • The pain in the chest can spread to the back or stomach
        • A chest pain that feels like a bad episode of indigestion
        • Feeling a bit light-headed or dizzy as well as having chest pain.
          call 999
    • If you suspect a stroke (Stroke UK)  
      • Facial weakness - can the person smile? Has their mouth or eye drooped?
      • Arm weakness - can the person raise both arms?
      • Speech problems - can the person speak clearly and understand what you say?
      • Time to call 999
    • If you answer NO to the following:
      • Are you well enough to travel to care by car ? (999 is not a taxi service) 
      • Are you sure its safe to wait for you GP ?
      • Do you have time to check with your GP or NHS Direct (see below) 
      • Is the injury minor ? 
      • Have you been unwell for a while ? 
      • Breathing OK ?
      • Only minor bleeding ? 
                               Consider your options & if needed call 999
  • Think if you can get the care you need -  without a blue light response ? 
    • Your GP has 24 hour cover to ensure you are well cared for if you are unwell yet don't have a life threatening illness or injury.   
    • NHS Direct on 0845 46 47 can offer advice and will send an ambulance if serious
    • NHS Walk In centre in Reading is open 8am - 8pm for to look after minor illness and minor injurieshttp://www.readingwalkinhealthcentre.nhs.uk/.
    •  Townlands Minor Injury Unit (MIU)
      • York Road
        Henley on Thames
        RG9 2EB
      • Tel: 01491 637435
      • Open 9.00am - 8.00pm, seven days a week.
      • X-rays available 9.00am - 4.00pm, seven days a week.

  • If you dial 999 (or 112) and ask for ambulance:
            • Do your best to stay calm, the ambulance control may want to talk you through key things you can do to help
            • Do you have someone who can go and  meet the ambulance?  if its dark turn on all the lights. Many houses look the same and its difficult in a hurry to spot house names and numbers (but don't step out as it could be going to another call) 
  • Think about your house name / number is it clear from the street day and night ? It could make all the difference.

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