Our 999 Centre

Taking over 66,000 emergency calls a year

Co-ordinating the response to 40,000 incidents, The Emergency Control Room at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service helps to save lives on a daily basis.

Based at our headquarters in Swinton, the Control Room has 63 highly-skilled members of staff who are trained to take emergency calls from the public, as well as manage the movements of over 100 fire engines in the Greater Manchester area.

What happens when a 999 call is made?

When a 999 call is made, an operator will ask which service is required - Police, Ambulance or Fire Service. Once the caller has requested the Fire Service, they will be transferred to our Emergency Control Room.

Once the call is connected, the Control Room Operator will ask for the following information:

  • Name or number of the property which is involved or near to the emergency
  • Name of the street or road, district and town
  • Nearest main road or local landmark to the emergency
  • Nature of the emergency
  • Various questions relating to the type of emergency to identify the risk to the public and the fire crews that will respond

Access to 999 for deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired people

If you have problems with hearing or speech you can access emergency services via the text relay service on a textphone by dialling 18000. For further information go to www.textrelay.org


for information on registering for the National Emergency SMS service where you can use your mobile phone to send a text message to 999 in an emergency go to www.emergencysms.org.uk

Responding to the emergency

Using touch-screens computers and advanced technology, the nearest fire engines can be easily located and informed of the emergency within seconds. Our fire crews can then reach the incident as soon as possible - on 92% of occasions, we can be there in seven minutes.

Control room staff often save the lives of people who are trapped in fire situations and other emergencies by providing survival advice and support until our fire crews arrive.

They will also in an emergency, dispatch other fire engines and equipment if needed, and contact other emergency services and agencies so the incident is brought to a safe and speedy conclusion ensuring the safety of the public and the fire crews at all times.

Malicious or Nuisance Calls

Malicious or nuisance calls to our service compromise our response to real emergencies and also the health and safety of our crews who are responding at speed to what is thought to be a genuine 999 call, until they arrive.  All our calls are taped and traceable and we will pursue prosecutions with Greater Manchester Police when the person who made the malicious call has been identified.  The outcome of a prosecution can be imprisonment or a substantial fine of over £2,000.

Last update: 24/07/2014 13:10:31
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