I wanted to give an example of some 999 calls I’ve recently attended – on blue lights and sirens, no less – that really didn’t need an ambulance. These are genuine.
- A diabetic lady who’s blood sugar was normal, but she wanted someone else to check.
- Someone who couldn’t get an appointment with their Doctor for a painful foot.
- A swollen knee.
- A lady who wanted us to make her a coffee.
- A man who wanted his heating turned down.
- Someone who’d had an argument with their partner and wanted to “prove a point” and “make them worry”. There was nothing wrong with them.
- A man who had checked his pulse with…get this…an app on his iPhone and was worried because IT DIDN’T FIND ONE!
- A baby who had coughed. Once.
- A lady who had fallen over 24 hours ago, suffered no injuries, went about her life as normal and then thought, “maybe I should be checked over”.
- A male who had swallowed chewing gum.
Some people, and I aim to offend, are idiots. Calling 999 is a big deal and not to be done lightly. I know it’s all funny now, but when you’re on scene with these mugs and you have to do a set of medical observations – just in case – and you hear a radio broadcast for an elderly lady who is short of breath with chest pains, in your locality. Let me tell you, it makes your blood boil.
I’ll keep you updated as to the dross we attend instead of actual emergencies.