Lincolnshire Police have released guidelines on what to do should you ever need emergency assistance but are unable to talk.
Sometimes a person may need emergency help, but for whatever reason is unable to make a sound, or talking is likely to put them in more danger.
The guidelines from Lincolnshire Police is to stay on the line and listen carefully to what the emergency operator says.
Once you dial 999, the operator will answer the phone by asking what emergency service you need. If there’s no answer, the operator will then ask whether you need fire, ambulance or police.
Lincolnshire Police said:” If you still do not respond the operator will say:‘What number have you called please? I cannot release your line until you say that you do not need an emergency service’
“If there is still no response then the operator will question further: ‘If you are unable to speak but need an emergency service, please tap the handset, cough or make a noise.'”
The guidelines advise that if there is still no response to any of the above, but the call taker can still hear back ground noise, they will then be able to connect the call to a system that prompts you to press ’55’ on your phone key pad if you need the police.
“If you are unable to speak but need an emergency service, tap the handset, cough or make a noise.”
Lincolnshire Police added that although this will tell the operator to contact the police, they would still need as much information as possible to be able to send officers to help.
Only make silent calls if absolutely necessary as in an emergency it may be safer and quicker to speak to the operator, even if you have to whisper.
Lincolnshire Police said: “Lincolnshire Police’s call centre staff are very skilled in seeking information from callers who may not be in a position to communicate effectively.
“For example, tapping the handset in a way that answers the call handler’s questions can be utilised, or skilled use of closed questions (yes or no) enables the call handler to effectively get the most suitable response to the call.
Only make silent calls if absolutely necessary as in an emergency it may be safer and quicker to speak to the operator
“The police call taker will do everything they can to assess the call, they will NOT always send a patrol – so it’s important that you provide any information you can.
“Each call is assessed based on the available information, this will include any previous calls to the police, but this still doesn’t mean we know where you are.”
To report a non-emergency crime, call 101 or visit the Lincolnshire Police online reporting service.