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80 years of 999 calls


Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service will be joining colleagues from the police and ambulance service to mark the 80th Anniversary of the emergency number.

This Friday marks 80 years since 999 was first launched in the London area on 30th June 1937.

The emergency call telephone service is the world's oldest and was introduced following a fire on 10 November 1935 in which five people died.

The initial scheme covered a 12-mile radius around Oxford Circus and the public were advised only to use it in an ongoing emergency.

It first became available to the south west in 1946 and then to the entire country when all the telephone exchanges became automated in 1976.

Over the last two years, Gloucestershire Fire and Rescue Service alone received around 21,500 999 calls.

Cllr Nigel Moor, cabinet member for fire, planning and infrastructure at Gloucestershire County Council, said: “The role that the country’s emergency services plays in keeping the public safe can not be underestimated.

“For 80 years the 999 service has been known for its reliability and professionalism. They are the first port of call for people seeking help and do a fantastic job to get the right response at the right time.

“In Gloucestershire we are lucky to have a fire service, police force and ambulance service that work incredibly hard to protect us. I am very grateful for all the work they do and know that my gratitude is shared by others.” 

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