‘Lookout Lion’ aims to teach children how to dial 999 in new video

Wednesday, 17th July 2019

AS children prepare to break up from school for the summer holidays, a new video has been launched which is designed to educate youngsters on how to make a 999 emergency call.

The video, which has been jointly launched by West Midlands Ambulance Service, Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, is aimed at children aged four to seven, with the emphasis being on what to do if they ever find themselves having to dial 999.

It features ‘Lookout Lion’ who needs to call for the help following a car crash outside his house. But does he know the number to dial? The location of the emergency? And can he stay calm enough to answer all of the questions from the operator which will ensure help is arranged as quickly as possible?

It ends with a message to parents about the importance of teaching children how to call 999 and the kind of things they can expect to be asked if doing so. It is also hoped that it will be used by schools as a way of educating children about the work of the emergency services and how they are there to help.

After watching the video, it is recommended that children are spoken to about it and to ensure they know:

  • When is appropriate to call 999
  • That in an emergency they need to dial 999
  • How to make an emergency call from your particular mobile as this can differ depending on what device you have.

When making a 999 call they need to remember:

  • To tell the call handler which emergency service they need
  • To tell the call handler their address and phone number or the location of the emergency
  • To stay calm and stay on the line as they might have some questions
  • The call handler is there to help them and they shouldn’t be afraid

A printable factsheet has been produced that features advice on making a 999 call. It also has space to write your address and phone number. You can print this off, fill it in and put it somewhere visible, like on the fridge or by your home phone (if you have one). Your child will then have the information that they need.

Jeremy Brown, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s Emergency Operations Centre General Manager, said: “Obviously we hope young children are never in the position that they need to call 999, but sadly sometimes they are and it’s vital that they are prepared in order for us to arrange help as quickly as possible.

“Hopefully this video will go a long way to making children aware of what to expect, whilst also leading into further conversations with teachers and parents about what to do and when it is appropriate to ring 999.”

Lisa Cope, Head of Contact Services for Staffordshire Police said: “As the summer holidays begin, we are asking parents to make sure they take five minutes to sit down with their children and explain how and when to call 999.

“It is important that children know their address and postcode so that if they need to call 999 at home, we can get to them as quickly as possible.”

Glynn Luznyj, Director of Prevent and Protect at Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “The ‘Lookout Lion’ video highlights the importance of knowing what to do in an emergency situation to children and also to their parents. Supplying the correct information is vital to ensure that the emergency services respond quickly and effectively to every call for help.

“We would encourage families to have a plan detailing what to do in an emergency and to include an escape route in case a fire breaks out at home.”