West Midlands Ambulance Service airing calls to highlight improper 999 use

A hedgehog scaring some children and a demand for a glass of water are just two of the ridiculous reasons people have dialled 999.

Audio of calls including for lost keys, a taxi home, and a prank call are being released by West Midlands Ambulance Service as part of a week-long awareness campaign about inappropriate use.

Jeremy Brown, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s general manager responsible for emergency operations centres, said: “My control room staff are currently dealing with around 3,000 999 calls a day.

“Despite us being an emergency service, it’s truly shocking what people consider to be appropriate to call 999 for.

“We’re here for genuine life-threatening emergencies such as chest pains, cardiac arrests and difficulty breathing.”

The first clip features one caller who gives a confusing scenario, by saying “he’s not breathing”, “he also has cancer”, and “the car crash him”, before ending: “I’m sorry it was a joke.”

The next call is a man who asks: “Can you bring me a drink of water over?”

More clips will be posted on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and YouTube.

Staff in one of the trust’s control rooms will also be tweeting live to share any inappropriate calls it receives.


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