Time-wasting 999 calls put lives at risk

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Misusing the 999 emergency number can cost lives, an ambulance service has warned, after a time-wasting call last weekend.

At about 1.25am on Sunday morning, South Central Ambulance Service received a call saying that someone was unconscious.

An ambulance crew arrived on the scene, in Reading town centre, in six minutes, only to find the caller was fully conscious and requesting a lift home.

Other inappropriate reasons for calling 999 have included broken fingernails, requests to change light bulbs, fix broken TV remote controls or attend to sick pets, complaints about noisy neighbours and people having no mobile phone credit to call their GP.

The ambulance service has released a film to show how lives are put at risk when 999 is called inappropriately.

See www.southcentralambulance.nhs.uk