National Emergency Services Day - the history of 999

The emergency 999 phone number has drastically developed over the years to help people in need and also the response of emergency services.

Today we are supporting National Emergency Services Day.  Stay tuned with our social media to find out what some of our staff do on a daily basis, the journey of 999 over the years and live hour by hour incident updates.

The 999 emergency phone number has developed over the years from its initial introduction in 1937.

The 999 emergency phone number was first introduced in London on June 30 1937 after five women were killed in a house fire in 1935. A neighbour tried to phone the fire brigade at the time but was held in a queue by the phone exchange, which delayed the emergency response but prompted a government inquiry.

By 1938 the 999 service reached Glasgow but grounded to a halt due to the Second World War between 1939 and 1945. Shortly afterwards the programmed continued and was implemented in Birmingham, Bristol, Edinburgh, Liverpool, Manchester and finally Newcastle in 1946.

All telephone exchanges in Britain became automated by 1976 which allowed the 999 service to become fully fledged nationwide. In 1986, the 999 service introduced a system to operate with mobile phones.

Leading up to today, there has been many breakthroughs in technological advancements including mobile apps.

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