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Latest News
Paramedic degree programme set to boost patient care
Wednesday 6 November 2019
A degree that enhances patient care and boosts training opportunities for budding Paramedics will be delivered at five different universities across Scotland, it was announced today.

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Latest News
Shetland becomes first Scottish island to host purpose-built station for blue light partners
Tuesday 5 November 2019

Today (Monday, November 4) sees the official opening of a purpose-built station for blue light partners in Shetland, which is the first of its kind on any Scottish island.

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Latest News
500,000 people equipped with CPR
Wednesday 16 October 2019

Half a million people in Scotland have been equipped in vital life-saving CPR since 2015, it was announced on Restart a Heart Day (October 16).

Restart a Heart Day – part of the Resuscitation Council’s Restart a Heart Campaign - is the annual worldwide campaign which strives to raise awareness of cardiac arrests and increase the number of people equipped in CPR.

Read more here

Latest News
Staff and Volunteer Awards 2019
Tuesday 3 September 2019

Nominations for our 2019 Staff and Volunteer awards are now open and we want you to help us celebrate our achievements and vote for your everyday hero!

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Latest News
Man thanks ambulance staff for life-saving intervention
Friday 26 July 2019

A man saved by a vet after his heart stopped has been reunited with the Scottish Ambulance Service responders who saved his life.

Mike Pinkerton, 43, was shopping for cat food at a veterinary surgery three years ago when he suffered a cardiac arrest, lost consciousness and collapsed

Read more here

 
Calling 999
 

When to call 999

You should always call 999 if someone is seriously injured or their life is at risk

Some examples of medical emergencies include:

  • chest pain;
  • breathing difficulty;
  • unconsciousness;
  • severe loss of blood;
  • severe burns or scalds;
  • fitting or concussion;
  • drowning;
  • severe allergic reactions;
  • choking;
  • a child with sudden unexpected symptoms.

If it is not a life threatening of serious emergency you should consider other options before dialling 999.
These could include:

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When you call us

When you call 999 an operator will ask which emergency service you need. If it’s a medical emergency, ask for the ambulance service and you will be put through to one of our call takers.

What information will I need?

You will be asked to provide the following information:

  • the phone number that you are calling from;
  • the address where you are, including postcode, if possible;
  • what has happened.

As soon as we know where you are, help will be on its way to you.

You will also be asked to give some additional information such as:

  • the patient’s age, sex and medical history;
  • whether the patient is conscious, breathing and if there is any bleeding or chest pain;
  • details of the injury and how it happened.

Answering these questions does not delay the response, but helps us to give you important first aid advice while the ambulance is on its way.

The extra information also helps to make sure that we send the most appropriate help to you.

What can I do before help arrives?

Before the ambulance arrives, you can help us by doing the following:

  • if you are outside, stay with the patient until help arrives;
  • call us back if the patient’s condition worsens;
  • call us again if your location changes;
  • if you are calling from home or work, ask someone to open the doors and signal to ambulance staff where they are needed;
  • lock away any family pets;
  • if you can, write down the patient’s GP details and collect any medication that they are taking;
  • tell us if the patient has any allergies;
  • stay calm – our staff are there to help. Violence or threatening behaviour will not be tolerated and could delay getting help to the patient.

How can I be prepared for an emergency?

There are things that you can do today to help us in the future:

  • check that your house number can be seen from the road;
  • if you live on an estate, check that there is a clear sign to direct emergency services and that the lifts are working.
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Who will treat you

As soon as we have enough information and we believe you need immediate medical treatment, we will send help.

There are a number of ways in which we respond, depending on the circumstances:

Emergency Ambulance

Frontline emergency ambulances with a crew of two, one of which will be a paramedic, respond to the majority of emergency calls. Ambulance Technicians and Paramedics are trained to deal with life threatening illnesses and injuries. We carry a full range of medical equipment on our ambulances, including electrocardiogram (ECG) machines to monitor a patient’s heart and defibrillators which can restart the heart if a patient goes into cardiac arrest.

Paramedic Response Unit (PRU)

Paramedic Response Units are normally crewed by a paramedic working on their own. They will go to patients by car or motorcycle and carry all of the life saving equipment needed in a medical emergency. In life threatening situations, they can provide a vital, fast response and they will be backed up by an emergency ambulance that can take you to hospital.

Special Operations Team (SORT)

Specialised Paramedics, Technicians and Logistics Staff trained to gain access and administer care for patients in hazardous or difficult environments and at the scene of major incidents. SORT also deploy to provide paramedical support for other agencies involved in potentially hazardous environments.

Community Paramedics

These are paramedics who have undertaken extra clinical training. They are able to thoroughly investigate a patient’s condition and situation and then make a qualified decision about the best way to progress their treatment. They often work with minor injuries units and out of hours doctor services and can refer patients to the most appropriate care if a visit to hospital is not required.

Air Ambulance

We operate two emergency helicopters and two fixed wing planes. They are often asked to assist at incidents where there may problems with inaccessible terrain or where a very fast evacuation to hospital is preferable to a journey by road ambulance.

Community First Responders

These are members of the community who have been trained to provide first aid and other medical skills while the ambulance is on its way to you. They are able to deliver treatments that are time critical, such as using a shock box in cardiac cases.

BASICS Scotland Responders (British Association of Immediate Care)

BASICS Responders are Doctor's, Nurses and Paramedics who have received additional Pre-Hospital Emergency Training through BASICS Scotland. Each of the Responders are provided with a Sandpiper Medical/Trauma Response bag and access to a Defibrillator. Many Responders have also been issued with an Ambulance Service Airwave Radio and a Vehicle Locater System to allow contact and best resourcing via their Emergency Medical Dispatch Centre.

Paramedic Clinical Advisor

If the incident is not life threatening, you may be passed by telephone to one of our Paramedic Clinical Advisors, or to NHS 24, who will give you assistance or point you in the right direction for help.

Whatever your reason for calling us, the Emergency Medical Call Taker who answers your call will ensure that you receive the most appropriate response and liaise with other services and professionals where necessary.

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