Belfast Telegraph

Grenfell Tower: Portadown 999 staff took tragic emergency calls

By Staff Reporter

An MLA paid tribute last night to the work of the BT call centre employees in Portadown who handled some of the emergency calls from the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

It's understood that hundreds of 999 calls concerning the horrific Kensington inferno were routed to the Co Armagh centre.

On social media, a local call centre worker said yesterday: "It wasn't a pleasant shift".

"BT's 999 team across the UK, including our call centre in Portadown, responded to a number of emergency calls throughout this tragic incident, a BT spokeswoman said.

"As per usual processes, calls were onward connected to the relevant emergency service.

"Our thoughts and deepest condolences remain with everyone affected."

The BT spokeswoman said counselling was available for employees.

"As well as the personal support of their line manager, all BT personnel have access to the Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). The EAP is a confidential and free service and it offers face-to-face counselling and a number of advice lines for staff."

Local Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie said: "It's not often we're called on to pay tribute to the work of call centre personnel - but it can be incredibly harrowing to take phone calls from people in distress, and to remain professional in the face of tragedy.

"Credit where credit's due - they did a great job," the Upper Bann MLA said

Belfast Telegraph


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