999? My ket­tle’s bust and I’ve got a sore toe...

Manchester Evening News - - NEWS -

BRO­KEN ket­tles, head lice and stubbed toes.

They’re mi­nor in­con­ve­niences to most peo­ple. But they have all been re­ported as 999 emer­gen­cies over the last year.

It means North West Am­bu­lance Ser­vice (NWAS) call han­dlers and paramedics are hav­ing their time wasted when they should be deal­ing with se­ri­ous in­ci­dents.

In Greater Manch­ester, 174,579 emer­gency calls were made to NWAS in a year.

More than one mil­lion emer­gency calls were made across the north west.

But more than a third of these were non emer­gency sit­u­a­tions, like the ex­am­ples out­lined above. North West Am­bu­lance Ser­vice staff have now re­leased a video com­pi­la­tion of the time wast­ing calls they have re­ceived.

The num­ber of calls han­dled by 999 op­er­a­tors has in­creased year-on-year since 2010.

Ged Blezard, di­rec­tor of oper­a­tions at NWAS, said: “We have cre­ated this video, which in­cludes some of the most ridicu­lous calls made to our emer­gency num­ber, to make peo­ple think about how these types of calls can af­fect the ser­vice, and the sit­u­a­tions in which they should dial 999.

“We un­der­stand that peo­ple panic or need help for sit­u­a­tions that are con­cern­ing to them, but re­port­ing a bro­ken ket­tle, or out of reach toi­let pa­per, which are both real calls fea­tured in the video, can stop us from sav­ing the life of a per­son in a real emer­gency.”

For help when it’s not an emer­gency, call NHS 111.

See the video at manch­estereveni­ngnews.co.uk

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