Caernarfon pupils educated about calling 999

A member of Ysbyty Gwynedd’s Theatre team is helping children and young people understand what to expect when they call 999 and how to use the emergency service responsibly.

Petula Rees, an Operating Department Practitioner at Ysbyty Gwynedd, recently visited Ysgol yr Hendre in Caernarfon to educate children when to call for emergency help and what to expect when they do.

Petula decided to reach out to children about the emergency service following an experience she was involved in within the Emergency Department.

She said: “A lady came in with a very serious head injury and I found out if it hadn’t been for her child ringing 999 she may not have been with us today.

“This made me think how vitally important it is for children to know when they need to ring 999.”

Petula recently spent a day with pupils from Ysgol yr Hendre and created multiple scenarios of when they would need to call 999.

“The children were really engaged with the sessions and were asking lots of questions.

“They took part in different scenarios which involved incidents of when they would need to call for an ambulance.

“It was also important to educate them of when it wasn’t appropriate to ring an ambulance and I also stressed the impact of making hoax calls to the emergency services.

“I also went through what the operator on the 999 call would ask when they called and it was important that they knew the basic answers, such as their address.

“The day was really successful and I now hope to attend other schools in the area,” added Petula.

Jonathan Sweet, the Welsh Ambulance Service’s Area Operations Manager in North Wales, said:

“Every second counts in an emergency.

“As well as administering some basic first aid, the best thing a bystander can do for a patient is call 999, and that extends to children too.

“Calling 999 is quite a daunting prospect for anyone, let alone a child, which is why it’s so important that they know what to expect.

“It’s also important that they understand what constitutes an inappropriate call or a hoax call.

“As an ambulance service, we do lots of work with schoolchildren about how to act in an emergency and we commend Petula for helping us to spread the word.”