Graphic for 'Is the patient breathing' campaign

999 calls answered within 2 seconds

Elena Lewis – Monday 13th November 2023 – 8.00am.

The extraordinary efforts of West Midlands Ambulance Service’s (WMAS) Emergency Operations Centres (EOC) are evident. So far this year, Call Assessors in the Trust’s EOC have answered emergency 999 calls in just two seconds on average.

Both EOC bases in Brierley Hill and in Stafford have answered a combined total of over 1,365,117 ‘999 calls’ so far this year. Answering 173,834 ‘999 calls’ in October alone. With this huge volume of calls being answered, call answering time has not faltered.

Call Assessors, Dispatch staff and Clinical Validation Team (CVT) work tirelessly to provide around the clock, outstanding care to people of the West Midlands. Additionally, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s EOC answer emergency 999 calls for ambulance services across the country where there is a requirement for support with ongoing demand.

West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Integrated Emergency and Urgent Care & Performance Director, Jeremy Brown said: “A call answering time of two seconds, on average, is a remarkable effort and is one that doesn’t go unnoticed.  

“This has displayed, once again, the dedication and commitment our team puts into every single shift to delivery outstanding patient care, in what has been a significantly testing time for the service.

“We are at the starting point of a patient’s journey and need to do everything we possibly can to give the best care to our patients in their hour of need.”

This week, West Midlands Ambulance Service will be sharing an insight into their two Emergency Operations Centres and some of the incredible staff within them with the upcoming launch of the campaign ‘Is the Patient Breathing?’.

The campaign aims to raise awareness about what is happening behind the scenes when a 999 call is made and shows the contrasts between an emergency Category 1 response, and cases where an ambulance is not required but the most appropriate care referral is made.

To find out more about ‘Is the Patient Breathing?’ head to What happens when you call 999? – West Midlands Ambulance Service University NHS Foundation Trust ( and keep an eye on @OfficialWMAS social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, X and Thread

Notes to editors

Yearly call figures are accurate as of 08/11/23.


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