Jersey

Call to Jersey 999 centre went unanswered

Sandy Hugh
Image caption Sandy Hugh did not get an answer when he called 999 for his father

A Jersey resident has called for a review of the island's 999 service after he failed to get an answer when his 84-year-old father fell.

Sandy Hugh said his father fell in late 2013 and his 999 call got no response for four minutes.

Mr Hugh resorted to calling the States of Jersey Police headquarters directly.

Jersey Telecom, which operates the service, said such incidents were "exceptionally rare".

Image caption About 600 calls per week made to 999 in Jersey are not an emergency

"It could have potentially been a terrifying situation," said Mr Hugh.

"When people dial the 999 service sometimes it can be in a life-threatening situation. You would want a service where the call is going to be answered quickly.

"I called an ambulance, I dialled 999 and after four minutes and 12 seconds the call had not been answered, the phone was still ringing."

Tim Ringsdore, chief relationship officer at Jersey Telecom, apologised for the incident and said staff had been "spoken to".

'Extremely rare'

"It is an extremely rare occurrence," he said.

"This was in the evening. We had a couple of people on. One person had gone to the toilet and the other person didn't follow due process to pick up the call.

"This was a genuine mistake. We're not aware of any other incidents like this."

Mr Ringsdore said Jersey Telecom receives 600 emergency calls a week but 80% were not genuine emergencies.

There are no dedicated 999 staff but all call agents are trained to receive emergency calls, the "vast majority" of which are answered within five seconds, said Mr Ringsdore.

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