Would your child know how to make an emergency 999 call?

Would your child know how to make an emergency 999 call?

Nicola and Kyran.JPG

Two five-year-old children have saved their mum’s lives by calling 999, staying calm on the phone to our emergency call handlers, and unlocking their front doors for the ambulance crews.

April Walsh, from Buxton in Derbyshire, and Kyran Duff from Daventry in Northampton, both rang 999 in the last few months when they found their mums unconscious and there were no other adults around to help them.

Thanks to their children’s quick thinking, Nikki Duff and Caitlin Walsh were treated by paramedics and have made a full recovery.

As we enter the school summer holidays, we are asking all parents to take five minutes to sit and talk to their children about how to call 999 in an emergency.

Alison Crowe, Service Delivery Manager for our 999 control room, said:

“Teaching your child the right reason to call 999 could save your life.

“April and Kyran acted very calmly in what must have been very frightening situations. By calling 999 and answering our emergency call handler’s questions, they made sure we were able to get help to their mums as quickly as possible.

“As the summer holidays begin, we are asking parents to make sure they take five minutes to sit down with their children and explain when to call 999, especially if an adult is not awake.

“It is important that children know their address and postcode so that if they need to call 999 we can get an ambulance to them as quickly as possible.”

Emergency Call Handler Bethany Tidmarsh, who took the phone call from April, explained the best way to broach the subject of calling 999 is when an ambulance goes past, when they see one on TV, or even when they hear sirens.

She said:  “It is important that they know that calling 999 is not a scary thing to do as we are here to help and we will stay on the phone with them until the ambulance arrives.”

Caitlin Walsh, April’s mum, said: “I’m very pleased I taught April what to do if she couldn’t wake mummy up.

“I showed her my phone and explained that even if it is locked, she can press the call button and dial 999.

“Then, when the operator answers, she knows to say ‘ambulance please’.

“I’m so proud of her for knowing what to do and calling for help.”

This summer, make sure your children know:

  • How to call 999
  • Their home address
  • How to open the front door in an emergency


Activity books and colouring sheets to help teach children how to call 999 are available on our website