7 March 2017
A 999 caller - who made chilling threats to an emergency
call handler - has changed the way London Ambulance Service manages
The Service today
(Tuesday 7 March) releases a recording of the call which led to all
call takers being trained in conflict resolution.
The man – who is calling about a friend - shouts down the phone and
swears 30 times during the three minute call.
Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Jon, remains calm and professional
throughout saying: “All I’m worried about is the patient so you
need to calm down.”
Despite his advice the caller says, “I’ll come to your switchboard
and kill you”.
Call handler Jon said: “I didn’t want to listen to this call again,
I didn’t want to relive the experience but it is important for
people to hear it so they can understand what can happen to us
while we are doing our job.”
Jules Lockett, Education and Development Manager, said: “Listening
to this call is truly shocking.
“We are used to dealing with people who are distressed and upset or
even angry but we should not be subjected to this kind of
“Our call handlers need to be able to take patient details, so they
can get the right help to them as quickly as possible. Abuse like
this obstructs our ability to deliver patient care.”
The Service is now training its 500 control room staff in how to
diffuse volatile situations.
Jules said: “No training would calm this caller down who rang back
three times and continued to be verbally abusive.
“However, we are now encouraging our control room staff to report
abusive calls and get support if they experience this at work. We
also encourage them to alert their manager and end the call once we
have given pre arrival instructions.
Notes to Editors:
London Ambulance Service receives around 5,000 emergency calls a
day into its emergency control rooms.