Emergency Services News. (facebook)
There is a rumour circulating on the internet at the
moment, alleging that if you dial ’55’ during an
emergency call, then the emergency services will be able
to ‘track’ your current location.
We have also had quite a few people messaging us, asking
if this ‘feature’ of being tracked during a 999 call is
actually something that can/could happen.
This information is wrong.
Whilst it is a great idea, and current technology COULD
enable this to happen, it is not currently a function
that is ‘live’.
Accidental 999 calls happen all the time, but operators
may be unable to tell if a silent call can actually be a
real call for help.
The emergency services receive millions of calls every
year, most of which result in a request being made for
emergency services such as police, fire or ambulance to
But, around 30 million calls a year do not follow the
usual pattern, with no one speaking on the call.
However, The Home Office has (or at least it did as of
July this year) had a system in place called Silent
Solutions, which helps callers, such as domestic abuse
victims, who cannot speak to an operator.
If you have been able to signal that your call is an
emergency by coughing after dialling 999, then you will
be put through to the police.
If you are in danger, you could be asked to dial “55” or
to give any other indication whist on the line,
otherwise the call could be terminated.
Dialling ’55’ is just one example and the control room
staff could ask you to dial any numbers.
But, in summary, dialling ’55’ during a 999 call will
not enable the emergency services to track your
If you make a 999 call but you are not able to speak,
say, for example, someone is in your house, then the 999
control room will give you instructions in order to
indicate to them that you are in need of help and that
the call has not been made in error.
Generally any sort of sound that the BT operator is not
sure about will result in the passing the call to the
Police, even if the caller hangs up for whatever reason
before they are connected.