Call handler's tears: 999 operatives are human too

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.

Monday, 22nd October 2018, 2:18 pm
Updated Monday, 22nd October 2018, 3:23 pm
Elly Hollinghurst, call handler

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.

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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.

But then there are the babies born too..

Elly Hollinghurst, call handler