Call handlers and emergency medical dispatchers work in ambulance control rooms as part of a team. If you wish to become part of that team then read on.
The Emergency Medical services in the UK provide free emergency care for injured or ill people, regardless of their immigration or visitor status. Just like for any other emergency service, there is an assigned phone number for the above mentioned services: 999.
Since every call might be a matter of life and death, potential 999 call handlers are expected to have some extra skills than a regular call- center agent would.
First of all, one must be empathetic at all times, as people on the other end might have suffered severe injuries, that they might not even be able to explain properly. Thus, calm and patience must be maintained at all times.
Second of all, a 999 call handler must be a very communicative individual, able to find out as many details as possible and pass them on to the emergency team. This also implies a person who is a good listener.
Third of all and very importantly, they must be good under pressure, as this is not your regular phone answering job. The 999 calls must be handled equally fast and in a professional manner, which at times may also imply teaching the victim emergency procedures that might even help keeping them alive until an ambulance arrives.
Having covered the skills area, the question to answer now is: “How do I apply for a job answering 999 calls
in the UK?”
A way to learn about vacant 999 calls-answering-job is creating an account on indeed.co.uk. You can upload your CV and find information about the current job openings, required skills, even salary inquiries.
Another way is to go to the NHS site directly, more specifically to the jobs section: www.jobs.nhs.uk. Same as above: you can find about the job openings, required education, previous experience and salary.
However, if you prefer a traditional approach, feel free to visit an Assessment Center, where you can sometimes spend an entire day. During that time, you are expected to pass a number of tests, such as: literacy tests, geography tests, software tests (to prove your ability in using certain applications), recorded calls and other possible tests. After having passed the traditional face-to-face interview, you will be informed about the next steps.
As a 999 call attendant you will receive the necessary training such as using the call centre equipment and software, training in customer care, communication skills, first aid, how to prioritize calls and giving telephone advice.
All in all, as stressful as they may be, 999 calls-answering-jobs are also very rewarding, as you can literally
save lives, they allow you to be part of a huge team and the paycheck is quite attractive. Therefore, if you have the above mentioned skills, buckle up and prepare for an adventurous, life-saving job!
Click here to see the latest job positions available for 999 call operators across the United Kingdom.
Good luck and we wish you all the best in this career path.