What happens when I call 112 for an ambulance?

If you call 112 for an ambulance, you will be forwarded to the emergency call centre for ambulance services in your area. The operator will ask exactly what the emergency is. He or she will decide whether to dispatch an ambulance, and if so, with what mode of response.

Between the call and the arrival of the ambulance

An ambulance crew consists of paramedics and a driver. They will try to get to the site of the emergency as soon as possible. The response time will depend on how many other emergencies are happening at the same time, the distance to the location in question and the amount of traffic on the roads.

During the drive over, the operator will remain in contact with the ambulance crew. The operator may also give you instructions to follow (for instance, on how to perform CPR) while you are waiting for the ambulance.

Care provided during the ride to the hospital

Upon arrival the ambulance team will assess the situation. The patient will be stabilised and made ready for transport. During the ride to the hospital the paramedics will regularly perform tests to check the patient’s vital signs, such as blood pressure. At the hospital the patient will be transferred to the A&E department.

What if no ambulance is dispatched?

The operator may also decide not to dispatch an ambulance because the situation is not serious. You will then be told to go to your GP or the A&E department of a hospital. In that case you are responsible for arranging your own transport.