Calling in an Emergency

You can expect stress, fright and chaos during emergencies. Everything goes much slower when there is a lot of pressure. If you know how to react, it's easier to handle the stress. That creates a valuable time that can often differentiate between life and death. To do that it’s good to be prepared to answer these questions:

  • Where is the incident?
  • What happened?
  • When?
  • Who are you?

Do not end the call. The emergency operator decides when they have received enough information.

If you are in doubt whether to call or not, call 112.

All phone calls to 112 are recorded.

Experience that can't be described

Þorbjörg works as a 112 Emergency Operator. Her first difficult call was already on her first day on the job when she had to help with CPR. Her favourite phone call is when she helped a man helping his wife giving birth. Þorbjörg enjoys coming home after work, knowing that she helped someone that day.

Special situation

The job of an emergency operator is to make sure that people are safe. Emergency operators support people during their worst times. Friðrik acknowledges that the job can be overwhelming but rewarding at the same time. Fortunately, Friðrik remembers best the cases that end well.

Handling requests

When you call 112, the phone number appears at the emergency operators screen along with the estimated location. The emergency operator asks what the nature of the request is, receives location, and more information depending on the case.

Neyðarlínan has a quality system with hundreds of processes, from asking about the location of the incident, to help instructions for giving birth in a car. These processes are built into the computer systems and support the emergency operator step by step in finding out the necessary priority of response. When enough information is available, the system alerts appropriate responders.

All requests are sorted into priority categories.

  • Priority 1 is a life-threatening situation with the highest priority. For example, on dispatch of the whole fire department, mass accident or single person accident with severe injuries.
  • Priority 2 has the next highest priority. Ambulance and/or other rescue is sent in priority driving, but the situation is not life-threatening.
  • Priority 3 is an incident that requires immediate assistance without any priority. For example, a local action where not many people are required.
  • Priority 4 is a request that is on hold with other projects with the project manager at the station. That might be something has some time limit, for example, a transferral of a patient between institutions because of research or operation.

Domestic violence cases 

It’s always tough when witnesses of domestic violence call. Þorbjörg describes how emergency operators answer domestic violence calls and put them through to the police. Emergency operators also advice through people phone or webchat where to get assistance because of violence.

All kind of problems

“This is not an emergency but …” That’s how many calls Friðrik gets start even though they are emergencies. Others are minor but emergency operators always try their best to help people whatever the situation is.