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.


Food news with Joe McNameeThe Menu: Upcoming food highlights

THE health properties of tea have long been advertised. “It maketh the body active and lusty” a 1660 promotion suggested. However, before you dunk your teabag into a mug of steaming water, spare a thought for the environment. Some have polypropylene to help to seal them and it doesn’t decompose.Storm in a teacup: Top 8 loose-leaf teas

Bestselling author Isabel Allende talks to Rowena Walsh about life, grief, and why it’s never too late to fall in loveIsabel Allende: It's never too late to fall in love

Cliffs of Moher Retreat owner Michelle Moroney has written a book on finding self-worth and stepping back from our 24/7 lives. She talks to Marjorie Brennan about the need to unwindMichelle Moroney highlights the need to take stock of our lives

More From The Irish Examiner