Flooding leads to 999 call surge

STEVE DOWNES People making emergency 999 calls in Norfolk, Suffolk and Cambridgeshire were today warned that their calls may not get through because of technical problems with the lines.

STEVE DOWNES

Callers to the 999 emergency switchboard experienced delays on Friday after flooding incidents in the south of England led to a massive surge in calls.

Up to 100 times as many calls as usual were received, leading to delays in some calls being answered.

Staff at East of England Ambulance Service's control room at Hellesdon, near Norwich, first became aware of the problem at about 12.15pm after noticing 20 per cent fewer calls than usual were being received.

Arrangements were put in place allowing callers to be connected via their GP, local hospital or the NHS Direct service.

Paul Bassett of the ambulance trust said he was confident that no callers had been missed out and that everyone had received a timely reponse.

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The situation had returned to normal by mid-afternoon, he added.

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