Do not hesitate to call 999 in the case of a genuine life-threatening emergency, such as chest pain, shortness of breath, unconsciousness or serious bleeding.
However, there are a number of other options for less seriously ill or injured people, including:
If you need to go to hospital, can you get there by car, public transport or taxi? You will not be seen any quicker at the hospital if you arrive by ambulance.
If you dial 999 for a problem which is not a genuine emergency, then you could be delaying our response to someone who is suffering from a life-threatening condition.
Many of the calls we receive are not life threatening emergencies. Please think carefully before you dial 999 - you can help save lives.
Calling 112 for emergency services
112 is a genuine emergency services telephone number. When you call 112 you access the emergency services in the same way as 999. The only difference is that 112 works throughout the EU.