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Calling 999 in an emergency

Calling 999 in an emergency

When you dial 999 the first person you speak to is a telephone operator who will ask which emergency service (fire, police, ambulance or coastguard) you require.

You will then be connected to the fire and rescue service and you will hear the telephone number you are calling from being repeated.

The fire service operator will ask for the address of the fire or incident - follow these simple instructions to help us help you. Tell the operator:  

  • The name and number of the house or building if it is relevant
  • The road or street name
  • The village or town
  • Why you need the fire service
  • You may be asked for more information, such as "where is it near to?"

Please listen carefully to what you are being asked or told and give clear, simple answers.


Contacting the fire and rescue service if you are D/deaf, mute or hard of hearing

If you are unable to use a phone to speak or listen, this service provides access to the police, fire or ambulance services in Kent. This service does not require any setup or registration, so please add 60066 to your phone as a contact for easy access.

This service connects you directly to Kent Fire and Rescue Service control operators who will deal with your request for assistance by text.

  • Step 1: Start every text message with the service you require – either Rescue for Kent Fire and Rescue (or Police for Kent Police or Medic for an ambulance). 
  • Step 2: Leave a space and then write your message, including what and where the problem is. 
  • Step 3: Send the message to 60066. This goes straight to our emergency control centre. 
  • Step 4: We will reply with a message confirmation. We may ask more questions. 

The video shows how the service works - with subtitles and a speech explanation of the instructions.


Image of phone being used for the 999 SMS service

Emergency text (SMS)

Sending an SMS message to 999 - this service requires you to register before using it

The emergency SMS service lets deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired people in the UK send an SMS text message to the UK 999 service where it will be passed to the police, ambulance, fire rescue, or coastguard.

Simply by sending an SMS message to 999 you can call for help and the emergency services will be able to reply to you.

You will need to register your mobile phone before using the emergencySMS service - full details can be found on the emergency SMS website.

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