Listen: Scary hedgehog and lost keys among 999 calls

Hedgehog.'Picture: Tom Marshall
Hedgehog.'Picture: Tom Marshall
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Time-wasters called 999 to report a scary hedgehog and ask for a glass of water, say ambulance service staff who have released examples of the “shocking” requests to clamp out nuisance calls.

Also on the newly-released list of time-wasting phone calls made to West Midlands Ambulance Service are requests for taxis, for a glass of water and for help finding lost keys.

In hope of preventing large numbers of non-emergency calls being made in 2016, the service is now appealing for people not to waste valuable time which could be used to save lives.

It will release clips of such calls throughout the week in a bid to show just how many time-wasters the team can face in a day.

A spokesperson said: “You don’t need an ambulance if you’ve lost your keys. A scary hedgehog doesn’t equate to a medical emergency. If you need a lift home after a night out in the pub, call a taxi not 999.

“We will be releasing audio clips from 999 calls to highlight the shocking examples of inappropriate calls.”

Jeremy Brown, West Midlands Ambulance Service’s general manager said: “My control room staff are currently dealing with around 3,000 calls a day. Despite us being an emergency service, it’s truly shocking what people consider to be appropriate to call 999 for.

“We’re here for genuine life-threatening emergencies such as chest pains, cardiac arrests and difficulty breathing.”