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