Posted by: maboulette | January 10, 2012


Assortment of disposable plastic cups

By Eric Pfeiffer

A man who “accidentally” glued five plastic cups to his head put in a desperate call to 911 seeking medical attention. But that’s just one of the more ridiculous non-emergency calls being highlighted in the Shields region of England.

The Shields Gazette has posted a list of the more unusual Northeast Ambulance Service (NEAS) calls the region has recently experienced. The glued cups to the head takes the ribbon, but some of the other contenders include:

– One woman dialed 999 because she had the hiccups

– A rabbit owner called because her pet had a sore leg

– A caller phoned in because a contact lens had become stuck in his eye

It’s also worth noting that unlike in America, but perhaps to the delight of Herman Cain, British emergency calls are placed to “999.”

“All 999 calls are treated as an emergency. That means a call-taker has to go through a series of questions to establish the facts of an incident,” said a NEAS spokesperson. “Handling requests which are clearly not an emergency means a call-handler is tied up, when they could be dispatching an ambulance to someone genuinely in need.”

The NEAS said they received nearly 1,200 emergency calls on “Black Eye Friday,” a 20 percent increase over the usual caller traffic. The NEAS has been publicizing the non-emergency calls to help educate the public on when it is appropriate to request immediate medical assistance.

“Speed is of the essence when dealing with a true emergency, and we need to make sure that people in need can get the help they require,” the spokeswoman said.

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