Emergency Call Handler

An emergency call handler is the person you speak to if you call 999.

They work in ambulance control rooms and will take information about patients, logging the information. In emergency situations, information is passed to the dispatch team who may send an emergency vehicle.

Emergency call handlers may also help a member of the public through an emergency procedure, such as clearing an obstruction from someone’s airway.


  • Take essential details about the patient and their location, logging the information onto a computer system

  • Talk the caller through an emergency procedure 

  • Advise callers on who they should see regarding the call: this may be their GP or visiting the emergency department 

  • Using specialist computer software to provide the caller with the right response to their healthcare needs 

Career opportunities

  • You can progress in this team to become a Team Leader or Supervisor, managing a group of emergency call handlers  

  • You could take further training to become an emergency care assistant or train as a paramedic 

  • You may transfer to a desk-based role such as admin assistant in a hospital 

Key information

  • Typical salary: £20,000 to £24,000 (37.5 hours per week) 

  • Often includes shift work (days, nights, weekends, bank holidays)

  • Up to 27 days annual leave

  • No qualifications or prior experience needed, including GSCEs, A-Levels, or BTECs

  • Employers will be looking for people who can respond quickly, remain calm under stress, and who have great communication skills 

  • Must have the right to work in the UK 

  • Eligible for NHS worker discounts

Image of young woman looking at the camera
"Before The Prince’s Trust I was the quietest and shiest person you’d ever meet, but this job has encouraged me to come out of my shell and interact with others, which has really boosted my confidence. " Shannon