Call handler's tears: 999 operatives are human too

Elly Hollinghurst, call handler
Elly Hollinghurst, call handler
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It’s the nerve centre of the entire ambulance 999 operation, feeling the critical pressures of the service at a time when they have never been higher.

It’s the nerve centre of the entire ambulance 999 operation, feeling the critical pressures of the service at a time when they have never been higher (says Lancashire Post's Deputy Editor)

Yet what we often forget, in our time of need, is that those people fielding these high-stress calls from individuals at a critical and terrifying time in their lives are human.

READ MORE: Call handlers tears on show as she cannot send an ambulance to elderly woman
They are not miracle-makers and cannot snap their fingers and make a life-saving ambulance appear by our side whenever we feel we need it, instead they have the very difficult job of assessing who needs exactly what and how urgently.

But more than that they are, at the end of the phone, dealing with highly emotional people, who are in serious pain and/or danger, and they cannot always help in the way they would like.

As Elly Hollinghurst explains, it’s not just those pressures which sometimes drive them to breaking point, it’s the nuisance callers and, astonishingly, the abuse they receive that is the most stressful, hurtful and hard to forget.

Elly Hollinghurst, call handler

Elly Hollinghurst, call handler

But then there are the babies born too..

ADVICE: Calling 999 doesn't always mean a trip to hospital; advice from NWAS
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