Diner who ‘ate too much kebab’ rang 999 - as ambulance service urges public to only call in an emergency

23 January 2024, 14:51

One person in Wales called an ambulance because they had 'eaten more kebab than I'm used to'
One person in Wales called an ambulance because they had 'eaten more kebab than I'm used to'. Picture: Alamy

By Asher McShane

An ambulance service has revealed the scale of non-emergency calls it receives - including one person who rang 999 after eating ‘more kebab than I’m used to’.

Listen to this article

Loading audio...

The Welsh Ambulance Service said it received 414,149 calls last year - with nearly 70,000 of these calls not being a life-or-death emergency.

Other calls included someone who had lost their voice, a person with a ring stuck on a finger, and someone with their hand stuck in the letterbox.

One person called an ambulance because they couldn't find their false teeth.

The service is reminding people to only dial 999 if someone is seriously ill or injured.

Andy Swinburn, executive director of paramedicine, said "inappropriate calls put additional strain on an already over-stretched service".

Read more: Cost of removing kids' teeth doubles in five years as decay soars

Read more: More than 2 million to have energy cut off this winter, Citizens Advice claims

"Our plea to the public is to apply your common sense - most people know the difference between a real emergency and something that is uncomfortable, painful or irritating but not life-threatening," he said.

Lee Brooks, Executive Director of Operations, said: “If it’s not a serious or life-threatening emergency, it’s really important that you consider the alternatives to 999.

“Ensure you have a well-stocked medicine cabinet for things which can be treated at home, like cut fingers, headaches and sore throats.

“And if you have prescription medication, please keep on top of it and collect it on time.

“If you or your loved one is ill or injured, ask yourself whether you really need the attention of the emergency services or if you can use an alternative or make your own way to hospital.

“We’re here to help people in their hour of need, but we also need the public to take some ownership and accountability for their health and wellbeing at a time when NHS services are stretched beyond measure.”

The calls in full

Call 1

Operator: Ambulance, what’s the address of the emergency?

Caller: Hi, yeah, erm… I know it doesn’t 100% qualify as this but my wife must have accidentally rubbed chilli in her eyes and her eyes are burning. She’s tried washing them and nothing’s happening.

Call 2

Operator: Tell me exactly what’s happened.

Caller: Yesterday evening, we had some kebab, and I might have had a little bit more than I’m used to, then this morning, I’ve had a very painful stomach.

Call 3

Caller: My ring is stuck on my finger; I need it cut off.

Operator: Is your breathing normal for you?

Caller: My breathing’s fantastic, yeah.

Operator: Are you bleeding or vomiting blood?

Caller: I’m not bleeding, no.

Operator: And do you have any pain?

Caller: Yeah, a little bit.

Operator: From the information that you have provided, you do require a more detailed assessment by a nurse, so an ambulance will not be sent at this time.

Caller: How am I going to get there then? Can you just come and see me please?

Call 4

Caller: What it is with her, her voice has given on her. We don’t know what to do. We’ve tried lemon and whatever, but it’s not doing any good.

Operator: Where is she in pain?

Caller: It’s her throat. She can hardly speak.

Operator: And is it just that she’s lost her voice, is it?

Caller: Yeah.

Call 5

Operator: Ambulance service, what’s the address of the emergency?

Caller: I wouldn’t say it’s an emergency, but I don’t know how to get down to hospital. I have a piercing in my ear, and it’s pretty much been ripped out and the ball’s stuck in my ear.

Operator: So, the ball from your piercing is stuck inside your ear?

Call 6

Operator: Is the patient awake?

Caller: Yeah, it’s me, my hand’s stuck in the door.

Operator: Is the door locked at the moment?

Caller: Yeah, it’s locked. Mam! No, my hand’s stuck in the f*****g letterbox.

Operator: How old are you?

Caller: Open the door, my hand’s stuck!

Call 7

Operator: Tell me exactly what’s happened.

Caller: I’ve had a cough for the last couple of days.

Operator: What’s that sorry, you’ve got a cough?

Caller: Yeah.

Operator: We are currently experiencing a large number of life-threatening emergencies. An ambulance is not available to respond to you. Our advice is to ring 111.

Call 8

Caller: I have a bottom part denture, and I went to clean my teeth and I said, ‘Where’s my false teeth?’ This sounds crazy… but I don’t know what else to do. Could I have swallowed my false teeth?

Operator: So, you don’t know where your false teeth are?

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Home Secretary James Cleverly (left) and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper take part in a live immigration debate on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast at Global Studios in Leicester Square, London. Picture date: Tuesday June 25, 2024.

James Cleverly debates Yvette Cooper on immigration | Watch Again

Home Secretary James Cleverly (left) and shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper take part in a live immigration debate on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast

Yvette Cooper says Labour will 'work with other countries' on migrant returns despite pledging to axe Rwanda scheme

The Tories have withdrawn support for two candidates being investigated over betting allegations.

Tories withdraw support for candidates caught up in election betting scandal

Yvette Cooper has dismissed claims made by James Cleverley on LBC

Yvette Cooper dismisses claims migrants are sitting in France 'waiting for Labour government'

Yvette Cooper slammed Just Stop Oil as 'pathetic'

Yvette Cooper slams 'pathetic' Just Stop Oil as she brands Stonehenge stunt a 'total disgrace'

James Cleverly and Yvette Cooper clashed on immigration

Labour will open door to 100,000 more migrants, James Cleverly claims, as Yvette Cooper accuses him of lying

James Cleverly and Yvette Cooper on LBC's Nick Ferrari at Breakfast.

Labour won't get rid of 'incredibly expensive' Bibby Stockholm on day one, says Yvette Cooper

Hot weather has hit the UK

Exact date 35C 'pulses' from Europe to boost UK's sweltering heatwave, as temperatures soar

Lord Robertson said it is "total nonsense" that the West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Nigel Farage is 'cuddling up to the Kremlin', says ex-Nato boss amid claims West provoked Russia into invading Ukraine

Sir Keir Starmer has told a headteacher that her private school should ‘work to ensure costs are kept affordable for parents’.

Private schools must ‘ensure costs are kept affordable for parents’, Starmer tells headteacher amid plans for tax raid

Jordan McSweeney and Damien Bendall both committed murders while on probation

One person a week killed by criminal on probation, as ex-Victims Commissioner slams failure to protect public's safety

Tom Hilton said internet sleuths should 'show some respect'

'Show some respect': Teenager wounded in machete attack by Jay Slater gang tells internet sleuths 'to help find him'

James Cleverly and Yvette Cooper clash.

General Election LIVE: Cooper and Cleverly clash in LBC immigration debate as Tories drop Gamblegate candidates

Rishi Sunak Holds Campaign Event In London

Metropolitan Police denies 'leaking names' of Conservatives suspected of betting on election date

Julian Assange Assange was released from Belmarsh Prison in London and boarded a private jet

Wikileaks founder Julian Assange leaves UK after being freed in US plea deal

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has reached a plea deal.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange will not be extradited to US after reaching plea deal