Emergency Response Team Respond To 999 Calls Complaining About Cracked Egg
‘999, ambulance service, is the patient breathing?’
‘I’m alright, I’m alright, I just need some advice. I’ve got a box of eggs in the fridge; one of them was cracked.’
That’s how one call to East Midlands Ambulance Service started, which was surely one of their all-time most pointless. The call handler dealt with it professionally, saying:
‘This is the ambulance service – we can’t advise you about eggs I’m afraid.’ Audio of the call has been released in an attempt to remind other people that 999 is for an emergency, not a cracked egg.
It’s quite funny that someone would call 999 to complain about an egg, but it could have serious consequences as if call handlers are busy when someone with a genuine medical emergency phones up.
Simon Tomlinson, General Manager for the Emergency Operations Centres, urged people to remember that there are other options available, such as calling NHS 111, contacting their GP or a pharmacist or visiting an NHS Walk in Centre.
He said: ‘When you call 999 because someone is unconscious, not breathing, having chest pains or has the symptoms of a stroke, you are making the right call.
‘Our emergency call handlers are trained to deliver life-saving instructions over the phone and we will get help to you as quickly as possible.’
The service received 59,349 999 calls in December 2017 – and a small proportion of these were inappropriate calls.
In December, they received calls for 922 patients in cardiac arrest, 6,543 people with breathing difficulties and 1,526 patients experiencing a stroke.