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Services

During 2020/21 the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service answered 226,271 emergency 999 calls with an ambulance arriving at the scene of an incident on 174,510 occasions.

As a regional ambulance service we operate from one Emergency Ambulance Control (EAC) Centre in Belfast. Every time we receive a 999 call from a member of the public, our call handlers known as Emergency Medical Dispatchers use advanced bespoke software systems to assess 999 calls based on the clinical/medical condition of the patient as provided by callers. These systems also allow our Ambulance Control staff to provide those making a 999 call with pre-arrival medical advice in advance of the ambulance arriving with them. It also permits us to prioritise calls to ensure those in need receive the appropriate response.

The 5 call categories are as follows:

Category 1 (C1) – potentially life-threatening injuries and illnesses

 Category 2 (C2) – serious but non-life-threatening emergency calls

Category 3 (C3) – urgent calls

Category 4 (C4) – less urgent calls

Category 5 (C5) – hear and treat

Responses standard times range from 8 minutes for an immediately life-threatening emergencies and up to 4 hours for less urgent calls.

We have a range of highly-skilled operational staff and clinicians who will treat our patients.

999 calls are responded to by the nearest available ambulance or appropriate resource.