999: What's Your Emergency?: Season 1
TV Series  /  Documentary, Reality
In Collection
Seen ItYes
IMDB   7.2
USA / English
Hugo Speer Himself - Narrator
Toby Trackman
Producer Johnni Javier
Shauna Keogh
Cinematography Graham Smith
Musician Sam Hooper

2012 is the 75th anniversary of the 999 system in the UK, and it's a system creaking under the weight of the British public's emergencies.

999: What's Your Emergency? is a unique series, filmed over an intensive 10 week period with all the emergency services in Blackpool: police , fire and ambulance. But this is unlike any other emergency based series. These films capture the entire process from the moment a call is taken at control to the deployment of the services on the ground. With rig technology inside the emergency vehicles to multiple crews on the ground 24/7, 999: What's Your Emergency? captures in a unique way the issues that face Britain today - from the emergence of new drugs, the despair of domestic violence, the way we parent our children and those, from whatever background, who slip through society's safety net.

With unique access to the services and the control centres that deploy them, this is the job seen through the eyes of those at the emergency front line. Raw and un-mediated, compassionate, yet tough minded. This is Britain in extremis.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    9/10/2012  1.  Episode 1
Blackpool's emergency services are tackling the fallout from the dizzying array of 'party drugs' that are on the rise in towns across the UK. Mephadrone - aka 'MCAT' and 'Meow Meow', and known as 'Bubble' in Blackpool - is available on many street corners. You can get a hit for the price of a pint of beer, but it can have highly unpredictable effects. PC Kris Beasley, one of Blackpool's longest-serving beat cops, has seen it all, but he - alongside his police, ambulance and fire colleagues - is increasingly facing the fallout from punters who are playing a chemical lottery to get high. Meanwhile the emergency services cope with a never-ending stream of calls, from a man exposing his penis at a railway station, to violent patients and rowdy suspects, including a pair of naked squaddies whose R&R has got out of hand.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    9/17/2012  2.  Episode 2
This episode focuses on kids, who are taking up more and more of the emergency services' time, whether it's prank calls, bad behaviour or poor parenting. PC Chris Hardy responds to a call from a terrified family who've had a brick thrown through their window and a gang of lads outside their house. The incident appears to have started when one boy called another 'fat' and the police take a 13-year-old into custody. When a resident finds a three-year-old boy walking barefoot and alone down a back street, PC Mark Glass is dispatched to question the boy, find out where he lives and where his parents are. PC Mike Ellis is sent to track down 12-year-old twin girls who've disappeared on the promenade after their father went drinking. And a six-month-old baby is injured when his mother leaves him in the care of two teenagers while she goes out on the town. Meanwhile police and ambulance are sent to help Andrea, a regular caller to 999 who has a drink problem and is looked after by her teenage daughter, who also acts as a parent to her younger brother. And police are called out after tourists spot a woman performing sexual acts on teenage boys under the pier on the beach, just yards from families on holiday.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    9/24/2012  3.  Episode 3
This programme focuses on relationships. When things go wrong, more of us than ever are dialling 999, asking the emergency services to pick up the pieces and protect us from those we used to trust. An increasing number of 999 calls involve relationship disputes, but they're never easy to resolve. The emergency operators are inundated with petty, non-emergency calls, ranging from people falling out over what they're watching on telly, to others arguing about computer games and who gets to keep the kitten when they split up. But domestic arguments often erupt into violence - last year cases of domestic violence increased by an astonishing 35% within a single year. Cases include a man accused of punching his girlfriend outside a pub, while another man is left with a serious wound after being stabbed in the stomach with a broken bottle. Meanwhile PC Claire van Deurs Goss meets a heavily pregnant woman who claims to have been assaulted by her partner, but refuses to press charges. Another woman has been head-butted by her ex-boyfriend. For the emergency staff, it's heart-breaking that children are often caught up in their parents' fights, with some as young as six calling 999 for help. Paramedics Paul Atherton and Mandy Jenkinson are a couple as well as being life-saving colleagues. Paul's been popping the question for years, but will Mandy finally give in and say yes?
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    10/8/2012  4.  Episode 4
There is one night when everyone's up for a party: payday. Whether you work a 50-hour week or depend on state benefits, the day that money hits bank accounts across the UK signals the beginning of drink-fuelled celebrations, a time to forget your troubles and blow off some steam. For the call operators at Blackpool's emergency control centres hearing about our payday excesses is a weekly occurrence and money plays a part in many 999 calls, from the serious burglaries to the callers reporting a lack of credit on their mobile phone.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    10/15/2012  5.  Episode 5
This episode focuses on an issue that is keeping the emergency services busier than ever: people's state of mind. A quarter of the UK population will suffer from mental health problems at some time in their lives. And with the number of psychiatric beds falling by 80% in a generation, inevitably the emergency services are dealing with more people with serious mental health problems.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    10/22/2012  6.  Episode 6
This programme focuses on how women in our society are changing; whether it's putting themselves in harm's way as members of the emergency services, or the increasing number of women the 999 system is having to deal with. Female emergency service workers reveal their motivations for doing the work that they do and the challenges they face on a daily basis, while the programme features young women for whom drink, violence and law-breaking have become commonplace and a perverse source of pride.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    10/29/2012  7.  Episode 7
Alcohol is fueling problems across the UK. Britain likes to drink and Blackpool is a magnet for stag and hen parties, with around 2000 clubs and bars. 'It's a mixture between a zoo and Jeremy Kyle's waiting room,' says Sergeant Dunne. 'We've practically turned into a nation of just drunkards really, haven't we?'.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    11/5/2012  8.  Episode 8
An increasing number of people are calling 999 with non-emergencies and hoax calls that are costing the already stretched emergency services millions and potentially diverting crews from genuine emergencies. This episode focuses on life savers and time wasters, featuring calls to the emergency services about a range of non-emergencies, from culinary injuries to broken light bulbs, as bizarre as they are diverse. But even more serious are the handful of people who abuse the emergency system by making hoax calls in the knowledge that they are potentially diverting an ambulance or fire engine from attending a serious injury or life-threatening situation.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    11/12/2012  9.  Episode 9
This episode follows how Blackpool's emergency services deal with incidents involving people from outside the town. With 13 million visitors each year, Blackpool is Britain's most popular seaside resort. While the older generation come to re-live the town's heyday, younger visitors - particularly those on alcohol-fuelled stag, hen and birthday weekends - are more likely to trouble the emergency services.
    Seen it: Yes   45 mins    11/19/2012  10.  Episode 10
This episode asks the police, ambulance and fire staff what they really think about the jobs they do. With more and more social problems falling to them, the emergency workers frequently question how much of their work is made up of actual emergencies. But time and again they reveal how proud they are to be protecting us from each other and from ourselves.
Edition Details
Series 999: What's Your Emergency?
No. of Discs/Tapes 1
Personal Details
Links IMDB