In amongst the cat videos, memes and lolfails, occasionally the internet can offer you some genuinely useful advice.
And boy, is it your lucky day today dear readers, as this is some honest-to-God potentially lifesaving information we’re about to give you here.
Police have issued a reminder to the public about the existence of their ‘Silent Solutions’ protocol, which is in place for those who call 999 for help but are unable to speak, due to the situation that they have found themselves in.
When you ring, an operator will ask which emergency service you require; then, if there is no response, they will ask you to cough or make a noise to confirm that the call is an emergency.
If no noise is received, the call is then routed through to an automated system – and this will ask you to dial ‘55’ if the call is, indeed, an emergency. However, if nothing is dialled, the call will be terminated and police will not respond – as there are so many accidental and prank calls made, it’s simply not possible for the Police to assume that every single call that goes through with no input is a real emergency.
So, the important thing to note here is that even if you cannot utter a sound, you can still get help, by waiting until you are prompted, and then dialling ‘55’. So there is always a way to make sure you get the attention you need.
A police spokesman said :"Please do not think that just because you dial 999 that police will attend. We totally understand that sometimes people are unable or too afraid to talk, however it must be clear that we will not routinely attend a silent 999 call. There must be some indication that the call has not been mis-dialled."
Right, that’s the useful stuff over with for the day – back to the cats.