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Cambs Fire and Rescue say 'Know where you are when you dial 999'

Published: 25th August 2009 20:42

cambridgeshire fire and rescue CONTROL room operators from Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service (CFRS) are warning drivers travelling in an unfamiliar place to take notice of their whereabouts in case they need to make a 999 call.

A considerable number of 999 calls are received each year by control room operators from people reporting emergencies who have no idea where they are. This can hinder a quick and immediate response as the operators need to know where the incident is located so that they can send crews there immediately.

Teri Seaber, Group Manager for Fire Control, said: "The problem is a national one but we are keen to raise awareness in the Cambridgeshire area.

"It is of particular importance during the summer holidays when many people are travelling to holiday locations and may be unfamiliar with the area.

"If you don't know where you are and you spot an emergency, you should still phone 999. But the more details you give us regarding the location, the quicker we can get the firefighters there."

Sandra Dacey, Watch Manager for Control Green Watch, said: "It is our aim to mobilise as quickly and as accurately as we can because seconds save lives.

"On many occasions if people are unable to give us correct address details, or don't know where they are, this can cause delays."

If anyone is travelling in an unfamiliar area and needs to make an emergency call, Control has issued these vital factors for people to remember:

  • If travelling on a motorway, try to remember which direction you are heading in e.g. North, South, East or West.
  • If travelling along back roads, try to remember a village or any signs you may have passed along the way.
  • Keep an eye out for any landmarks in the area including junction numbers, motorway marker post numbers etc.
  • If you have a sat-nav system use it to give an exact location.
  • Always remember, you may be the only person to report an incident. Do not assume that someone else will have already reported it. 

Tania Clark, Control Room Operator said: "It is important to stress the fact that it is still vital for people to call, even if they are unsure of where they are.

"By remembering land marks or road signs, this will help us a great deal in mobilising the closest crew as quickly as possible."

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