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At the bottom of each post there is the word "comments". If you click on it you will see comments made by followers, and if you follow the instructions you may also comment and I always welcome that. I have found many people overlook this part of the blog which is often more interesting than the original post!

My blog nick-name is SIR HUGH. I'm not from the aristocracy - my middle name is Hugh which relates to the list of 282 hills in Scotland compiled by Sir Hugh Munro in 1891. I climbed my last one (Sgurr Mor) on 28th June 2009


Sunday, 23 June 2019

Emergency calls.

Incident around 4;00 pm - Saturday - 22nd June 2019 - Ordnance Survey grid ref: SD 408 851

 As I returned by the road from a short walk a chap approached from his Land Rover parked in the middle of the road with hazard lights flashing. A cyclist had hit a pothole and come to grief and he was in a bad way - my phone was needed to summon an ambulance. My 999 call was put on hold and it took over five minutes to get through. Our location was remote and not easy to describe and the lady operator seemed incapable of absorbing any information I and the L/Rover chap were giving her.  We told her we were on Heights Lane out of High Newton but she couldn't find that village. I have just put it into Google Maps as search and it comes up straightaway - in the end I gave her the OS Grid reference - I think she went off to submit that to someone else. All in all it took about twenty five minutes for her to have sufficient information to direct an ambulance. We then waited for an hour for the ambulance, along with a couple who had also stopped to help.  When we have the best mapping and coordinate system in the world why can't we use it more universally, and also employ ambulance coordinators who are familiar with  mapping?

PS -
 I said it took an hour for the ambulance to arrive. I have just checked my phone and see the initial 999 call was logged at 16:13 and it was 50 mins after when the ambulance arrived. The main point of my concern was the difficulty the operator had in confirming our location rather than the time taken by the ambulance.
Red buoy location of incident. The lane is actually named as Heights Lane on the 1:25000 OS map


  1. The Crow - He had various cuts and bruises and remained half sat up on the edge of the road with his back against the Land Rover chap until the ambulance arrived. Fortunately it was warm and sunny and he was not suffering from the usual shivers that arise from shock. I think he had a head injury - he had difficulty in remembering his address when asked and would only speak in response to anything we asked. More than that I can't say.

  2. I had a similar experience with Mayday, admittedly many years ago.The operator had great difficulty in locating me which was rather odd since I was in a supermarket carpark in Stirling. Hardly remote. At least I got £10 compensation because they missed their target response time. Of course it’s much more serious when emergency services are required.

  3. I agree with you that in this day of ultimate technology that we can't communicate a grid reference to the emergency sevices.
    We had a similar episode on the moors above Bury trying to report a potential moorland fire. The operator on 999 had no idea of our location, subsequently we could hear the fire engine trying to find the fire.

  4. afoot - I have had the same thing with Green Flag.


    BC - In November 2017 I posted at some length about the Green Flag experience and it attracted fourteen comments with a number of similar experiences similar to those mentioned here.