Skip to main content

Calling for an ambulance

Calling for an ambulance FAQs


What is the process for calling an ambulance?

The process for calling an ambulance on University campus in an emergency, is as follows:

  • If first aid is needed, a first aider should initially be called for. Each area has its own arrangements for this. Find out what to do in your area. If you don't know (or you're not in your own area) shout for help.

  • If an ambulance is required, call 999 (the emergency services) from the scene. (If calling from a University landline, dial 9 first for an outside line).

  • A second call should then be made to University Security (0113 34 32222). This should tell them that an ambulance has been called, and the casualty's location. Security can then provide support and help direct the ambulance through our complex campus to the casualty.

Why was the process to call an ambulance changed?

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) have asked the University to put this new process in place to give the casualty the best possible care in an emergency, as quickly as possible. 

If the emergency services are called first on 999*, they have a direct line to the scene so can provide support until the ambulance arrives. 

The call to Security (0113 34 32222*) lets them help direct the ambulance through our complex campus, and provide support.

* dial 9 for an outside line when calling from a University land line.

Does the change in the process to call an ambulance affect the way to call a first aider?

No, this change does not affect the way to call a first aider. 

This stays the same, it's only if an ambulance is needed that the process changes.

Which areas of the University are affected by this change?

Main campus, Western campus (LUBS and the Law School) and Fairbairn House.  

Off-campus residences, sports grounds, sports centres and the St James' Campus have their own locally agreed processes.

Does this change in how to call an ambulance affect how to call the Fire Service or the Police?

No - This does not affect how to call the Fire Service or Police.

What happens if multiple services (fire, police and ambulance) are needed – for instance a major incident?

If you think multiple services may be needed, call the Emergency Services on 999* and describe the situation.  Then call Security (0113 34 32222*).

* call 9 first to get an outside line if you are calling from a University landline.

What happens if I am on my own with the casualty?

  • If you are alone with a casualty, call for a first aider or assistance.

  • If no assistance is available and you believe that an ambulance is needed, then call the emergency services directly on 999*.

The Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) Emergency Call Handler will go through some questions with you and either:

  • stay on the line and assist (at this point tell them that you are alone and ask if they can let Security know), or
  • they will finish the call so you can make the call to Security (0113 34 32222*). 

*if calling from a University landline phone, dial 9 first for an outside line.

What should I do if I don't have access to a phone at the scene?

First aid training teaches that if you need to leave a casualty for a short time to get help or find a phone, then do this. In serious situations the casualty has more chance of survival with qualified assistance than without it.

Why can’t Yorkshire Ambulance Service call Security directly for each University call rather than us having to make a second call to Security?

Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) cannot rely on an ambulance crew or their Dispatch Officers calling Security if they are attending incidents at the University.  Not all crews have mobile phones and many ambulances do not have telephones fitted.  In addition more than one ambulance unit may be sent to a serious incident.

Can we use the 'What Three Words' app to direct an ambulance to our location?

No – not at the moment. 

The 'What Three Words' app has had lots of publicity recently but Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS) have asked us not to use it for the time being.

Will lots of calls to Security result in calls being missed or phone lines being overloaded?

No - Security can take and make lots of calls at the same time. They manage this through the numbers of officers on duty and the number of phone lines linked to their published contact number (0113 34 32222).

Do you have to dial “9” for an outside line if using an internal University landline phone?

Yes - the University internal landline system requires you to dial 9 get an external line.  

To dial the emergency services from a University landline phone, call 9-999.

To call Security Services from a University landline phone, call 9-0113 34 32222.

Will Security attend the scene if I call them after I've called 999?

Yes - when Security have been told that an emergency call to 999 has been made, a Security Officer will be sent to the scene. Security will then direct ambulance crews to the scene as necessary.

Do Security always carry a defibrillator with them?

No, but there are 32 defibrillators in locations across the University estate - see the defibrillator map.

A defibrillator is held in the central Security Office but it will probably be quicker to use one which is located close to the scene. 

Anyone can use a defibrillator, as the machine itself gives you step-by-step instructions on how to use it. This useful video by St John Ambulance gives you more details.

Do all ambulances carry a defibrillator?

Yes, they do carry a defibrillator.

Why are ambulance response times sometimes so long when the Accident and Emergency (A & E) department at the Leeds General Infirmary (LGI) is so close?

This is because ambulances are sent from a centrally managed base, not from a local hospital. Patients are prioritised based on their medical needs not their location.

Was there any consultation on this change to the  process for calling an ambulance?

No.  On this occasion the change in process was driven by the Yorkshire Ambulance Service (YAS).  Their technical expertise means that they are best placed to identify improvements to our current practice to ensure the best level of care can be provided.

They stated that the previous system (where people called Security and asked them to call for an ambulance) was not as effective as they wanted it to be. 

Their professional view is that the best way to give the right level of care, information and support to the casualty and the person at the scene, is to have an immediate, direct phone link between the scene and YAS.