Our call handlers know they’re making a difference – they say it’s the most rewarding part of the job.
We receive two million calls every year and that means you’ll never know what you’ll be faced with until you pick up the phone.
To give an insight into life in the FCC, we asked some of our call handlers to recall their most memorable incidents.
Read on to find out more about why our call handlers play such a vital role in GMP.
Emily – “Everyone around me just stopped”
“A male came through on the line and there was loads of background noise – a lot of hustling and rustling, and people shouting and screaming. He said straight away that a girl had been stabbed.
“I went to get one of my colleagues to ring the ambulance and confirmed that she had multiple stab wounds and was losing consciousness.
“There was a lot of people coming on and off the call so you have to be stern and tell one person to stay on the line, speak directly and get everyone else out the room.
“I could hear kids there as well, so I told the caller to get them out of there and for someone to stay in a different room with the kids.
“The caller than said the woman had lost consciousness and she’d stopped breathing.
“The situation had gone from them putting pressure on the wound to having to start CPR, which I had to talk him through.
“At the same time, my colleague was on the line with the ambulance, and I had to relay instructions to him.
“I ended up on the phone for about half an hour. It was one of those jobs where there was so much going on, but everyone in the room around me just stopped.
“In jobs like that you do get taken aside by your supervisor to have a chat and make sure you’re OK. And you do get 10 minutes or so to have a break from the phones and get yourself together.”
Nicole – “We used location app and saved a life”
“A 20-year-old rang up, saying he was suicidal and he’d run away from home. His family didn’t know where he was and he was in a forest in Wigan, in quite a rural area.
“He was distressed on the phone and really needed calming down. He’d harmed himself. I stayed on the phone with him, reassured him and tried to build a rapport.
“Then we spent some time trying to figure out where he was. I asked him what he could see and we used the what3words app.
“Shortly after he did lose consciousness and we had to get to him really quickly to save his life. We finally got officers out to him and that saved his life. That does stick with me.”
Emma – “I reassured frightened six-year-old”
“A woman rang me and I could hear a baby screaming in the background. The baby had accidentally knocked a cup of boiling water onto itself and the mother was hysterical.
“I struggled to get an address out of her but it was so important to get this information as I couldn’t help her without it. I ended up having to speak to her six-year-old son and do everything through him.
“He was distraught and blaming himself – saying it was his fault for leaving the cup so close to the edge of the table. I told him to tell his mum to put the baby under the shower in cold water.
“I had to calm the boy down as well and in the end I had him standing by the door and I told him to look for blue lights and the officers.
“He kept asking me if they were coming to take him away because it was his fault. I reassured him that it wasn’t his fault and he wouldn’t be taken away.
“I started talking to him about other things to keep him calm while help arrived. I remember asking him about his favourite Xbox game.
“It was a terrible situation but I’m glad I could help the family through it and reassure him when he was so frightened.”
Kieran – “Caller was at his lowest point”
“Shortly after I was out of mentoring, I took a call from a guy who was drunk and threatening to kill himself. He was at his lowest point and he was near the M61.
“He asked me to just talk to him, so I did. We must have been on the phone for about an hour but he still wouldn’t give me his location.
“I put the job through at grade 1, the highest level, but officers couldn’t find him because we didn’t have a specific location. I had to create the log on the whole of the M61 and officers had to search the whole area.
“His phone battery ran out during the conversation and then, for a full 20 minutes, I was on the edge of my seat, desperate for him to tell me he was ok.
“It turned out that he had made his way to safety. He saw the police and waved them down and told them that it was him.”
Masie – “Elderly man needed reassurance”
“It was about 3am and I had a call from an old man who was very distressed. He told me he was locked inside a school, and I started talking to him to try and understand what had happened.
“It became apparent that he was just very confused and was actually still in his home, which he was imagining to be a school.
“I asked what he could see, and he started naming things like a lamp and his bed. I asked him if it might be possible that he was in his bedroom, but he kept insisting he was locked in a school.
“I ended up spending around 40 minutes on the phone to reassure him until the officers arrived at his address. They showed up and got him the help he needed so that was really nice to hear.
“We’ll often get calls like that from elderly people who are confused or frightened and want some reassurance. Another elderly lady rang once to say she thought there was someone in her house. She’d been burgled previously and was so scared of it happening again. I got some officers to go round and just check her house was secure to reassure her so she could get some sleep.”
Think you could make a difference like our call handlers?
Apply for a role in the Force Contact Centre today. Click the links to find out more about our roles.