Message for 999 timewasters

By Emily Pearce

Thursday, December 12, 2013


ONLY DIAL 999 in an emergency — that's the stark message from Isle of Wight health bosses after one woman called for help because there was a rat in her living room and another because she had run out of mobile phone credit.

They were among a small number of people who called the Isle of Wight Ambulance Service unnecessarily, figures have revealed.

According to the figures, published by the Isle of Wight's NHS Trust, less than 0.5 per cent of the 40,000 emergency calls received each year at St Mary's Hospital are classed as inappropriate.

Chris Smith, head of the ambulance service, said such calls were a waste of resources and urged people not to call 999 when the 111 helpline might be more suitable for some medical issues.

"It is inevitable that when our resources are outstripped by the demand we have to be certain we are sending help to calls of genuine need. We need the public’s support and assistance to make sure our finite resources are used appropriately," he said.



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by Colin Russell

14th December 2013, at 11:47:21

Charge them with the cost time etc, if the call is real a good job, but once these clowns get hit in there pocket they will learn and if they do it again prosecute get them into court no if,s or but,s or a slapped wrist,

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by Paul Cox

12th December 2013, at 21:45:21

These people should be prosecuted by the police for endangering life. While they are wasting the emergency services time, someone may be dying. They can easily trace the idiots, but they will not stop unless proper action is taken against them. It is time the police took that action.

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by John Lennon

12th December 2013, at 18:39:20

I think these people have serious problems - mental problems! Why would any sane person dial an emergency number for anything that isn't an emergency is beyond me! Apparently, the 111 service is also being abused. What's wrong with these idiots? Name and shame them!

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by James McAdder

12th December 2013, at 16:47:28

The problem is, while these examples are absurd, is isn't always obvious whether something is an emergency, or not. Is that chest pain just indigestion, or something more serious?

The problem with advice like this is it won't stop the idiots ( anyone who is idiotic or thoughtless enough to dial 999 because they have run out of credit is going to do it anyway), but may deter people who have a real emergency.

Any views or opinions presented in the comments above are solely those of the author and do not represent those of the Isle of Wight County Press.

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