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

Xielo Maruziva fell into the water on Sunday afternoon

Boy, 2, who fell into River Soar in Leicester pictured as his mum and dad describe him as their ‘bundle of joy’

People enjoy the beach in the late afternoon sun, December 23, 2022, in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Young girl dies after deep 6ft hole she was digging in sand collapses on her at South Florida beach

Cliff Mitchell has been found guilty of multiple counts of rape, including three counts against a child under the age of 13.

How rapist cop who was recruited to the Met after a failed investigation went on to attack women at knifepoint

A resident looks for belongings in an apartment building destroyed during fighting between Ukrainian and Russian forces in Borodyanka, Ukraine (Vadim Ghirda/AP)

EU agrees new sanctions against Russia as Ukraine war’s second anniversary looms

Cliff Mitchell was found guilty of multiple counts of rape.

Former Met Police officer found guilty of multiple rapes and kidnap while serving in ‘sickening’ case

A cordon has been put up across Keyham in Plymouth after a WW2-era bomb was found

More than 1,000 evacuated after WW2-era bomb discovered at Plymouth home during garden building work

Greece’s Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, left, talks with his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi as he arrives for a delegation level meeting in New Delhi (Manish Swarup/AP)

Greek PM asks India to build global ties amid wars in Ukraine and Middle East

Indian farmers who have been protesting for a week to demand guaranteed crop prices wait to march to New Delhi (Altaf Qadri/AP)

Man dies as clashes erupt between police and protesting farmers in India

Polish farmers drive tractors in a convoy in Minsk Mazowiecki, Poland as they intensify a nationwide protest against the import of Ukrainian foods and European Union environmental policies (Czarek Sok

Poland concerned by pro-Putin slogans at farmers’ protests

Russian prison bosses at the Arctic penal colony where Alexei Navalny was "detained and killed" have been banned from the UK and had their assets frozen

Russian bosses of Arctic penal colony where Alexei Navalny was 'detained and killed' sanctioned by British government

Rishi Sunak would not repeat Ms Badenoch's claims when asked at PMQs.

Rishi Sunak refuses to repeat Kemi Badenoch's claim ex-Post Office boss ‘lied’ about delaying compensation

ChatGPT began speaking in Spanglish for some users

'It's gone crazy': ChatGPT users share AI's bizarre 'Spanglish' replies as tech firm admits 'unexpected responses'

Maxim Kuzminov, who defected to Ukraine, appears in a video released by Ukraine's Defense Intelligence agency in September 2023.

Russian defector gunned down in Spain 'contacted his ex' as body found riddled with bullets in underground car park

France Eiffel Tower

Striking workers close down Eiffel Tower for third day ahead of Paris Olympics

Richard and Debbie Nuttall have been named as the winners of £61 million

Lucky Brit couple win £61m Euromillions jackpot while on 30th anniversary holiday in Canary Islands

People clean debris after a reported Israeli attack on Syria (Omar Sanadiki/AP)

Two dead after Israeli missiles ‘hit residential area’ in Syria