News : Northern Ireland's Emergency 999 Workers Celebrate 80 Years
Portadown, Northern Ireland, July 2017 -- The UK's 999 emergency call-out services are celebrating their 80th birthday having been launched in London back on 30 June 1937.
The service was set up following the tragic deaths of five women in a fire at a London doctor's surgery in November 1935, following the recommendations of a government committee.
Now, BT’s Portadown emergency call centre handles 640,000 calls each year, coming in from Northern Ireland and across the UK.
Speaking about the anniversary Mairead Meyer, managing director of networks in BT in Northern Ireland said: "Recent events in the UK mean people are acutely aware of the work of the emergency services and the value of the 999 service.
"I am extremely proud of the BT operators in Portadown and throughout the rest of the UK and their role in 999.
Sponsor message - content continues below this message
Employee Engagement Awards NOW OPEN!
Enter your center,and compete for this prestigious award to attract new staff and show investors and customers you are #1 in your nation!!
Content continues ….
"They are an extremely capable and committed team working at the sharp end of the most important communication services in the country. Countless lives have been saved over the years because of their professionalism and dedication."
Workers at the centre in Portadown were involved in handling emergency calls from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
Northern Ireland was the last region in the UK to get an emergency response service, with hubs opening in September 1946 in Ballymena, Belfast, Enniskillen, and Derry.
During its initial years uptake for the service was fairly low, with less than 100 calls being made weekly in major cities like Liverpool and Edinburgh.
The service now takes around 560,000 calls each week across the UK - around 30 million calls a year. More than 97% of these calls are answered within five seconds.
Originally different numbers were considered by the committee responsible for introducing the service, including 707 which would spell out 'SOS' on a phone's keypad, and 333.
In the end, 999 was settled on as the most practical number.
From the start the service was plagued by prank and unnecessary calls, including a complaint about bagpipes being played outside a house and a dispute between a neighbour and a local coalman.
The busiest time of the week for the 999 service is around midnight on Friday and Saturday, with around 5,000 calls being made each hour, and the busiest time of year are the early hours of New Year's Day, when the service can expect to receive around 9,000 calls an hour.
Amazingly, more than one-third of all the emergency calls answered by BT each year are not calls for help. Most of these are made by children playing with home phones and accidentally dialing 999 or the European emergency number 112.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
Today's Tip of the Day - A Welcome Call
ContactCenterWorld.com – is the website for the Global Association for Contact Center and Customer Engagement Best Practices. The association has a truly global footprint and supports 200,000 members from enterprises large and small with ideas, information and support tools including best practice awards, conferences and certification. Join today, FREE personal membership available at this link https://www.contactcenterworld.com/register.aspx and start networking and learning best practices. Contact Center World. (www.ContactCenterWorld.com), The Global Association for Contact Center & Customer Engagement Best Practices.
Published: Wednesday, July 5, 2017
ConSol bridges the gap between governments, corporations institutions and their stakeholders using technology, facility provides efficient services in exchange of valuable information solutions that i...
Verint Systems is a provider of analytic software-based solutions for the security and business intelligence markets. Verint solutions transform voice, video, and text into actionable intelligence - m...
|Bright Pattern Inc|
Bright Pattern is an effective cloud contact center software which helps businesses to simplify multichannel service. Bright Pattern’s solution features enterprise-grade architecture that offers n...
Cisco provides Unified Customer Contact solutions that extend customer care beyond simple phone transactions and the traditional contact centre to unique content-rich customer centric experiences. The...