Lancashire woman dials 999 to ask for help assembling hamster cage

Burnley and Pendle Citizen: Resource dispatcher Paul Walmsley Resource dispatcher Paul Walmsley

A WOMAN dialled 999 to ask for help assembling a hamster cage.

This is just one example of the array of calls the North West Ambulance Service deals with on a weekly basis.

Ambulance call handlers play a crucial role in delivering emergency care to patients across East Lancashire, but also have the tricky task of assessing the severity of patients’ problems.

In some cases this is easy, but in many others the situation is not so clear.

North West Ambulance Service regularly receives calls from patients with cold or flu symptoms, aches and pains or minor cuts and bruises, so the role of the call handler is vital in identifying these cases and avoiding unnecessary call-outs.

Paul Walmsley, a resource dispatcher for Lancashire and Cumbria, based in Broughton, near Preston, said: “A vehicle or crew will only be dispatched if the incident calls for it, so calling 999 does not necessarily mean an ambulance will be sent.

“It’s important the public knows this.”

He said the type of response will vary depending on the incident’s severity and location, as crews are ‘on the move all the time and ambulances rarely make it back to station’.

Paul’s role has been highlighted by NWAS chiefs as part of a public awareness campaign called #Team999, which aims to show people when it’s appropriate to call for an ambulance and what happens when they do so.

His colleague Jack Moseley, an emergency medical dispatcher, said: “Only a third of calls NWAS receives are categorised as potentially life-threatening.

“This does not mean the other two-thirds of calls are unnecessary or ‘time wasters’. It is usually a case of people not knowing what else to do. If anyone is truly unsure whether an incident is a medical emergency, it is always worth calling 999, as there are systems in place to direct callers to the right care.

“However, in a non-life-threatening situation, patients should consider other care options first, for example taking alternative transport to hospital, visiting a GP or a walk-in centre or calling NHS 111.”

The call for help in assembling the hamster cage came from an address in Greater Manchester, a spokesman for NWAS said.

Comments (14)

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1:30pm Fri 7 Feb 14

maxcollie says...

STUPID COW!
STUPID COW! maxcollie
  • Score: 19

1:53pm Fri 7 Feb 14

noddy57 says...

that women should be taken away to a place of complete madness and left there un till she comes to her senses,outrageous waste of police time,
that women should be taken away to a place of complete madness and left there un till she comes to her senses,outrageous waste of police time, noddy57
  • Score: 12

2:00pm Fri 7 Feb 14

GrumpyofClayton says...

She should be locked inside a bloody hamster cage. With no phone.
She should be locked inside a bloody hamster cage. With no phone. GrumpyofClayton
  • Score: 10

2:22pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Miss Hoolie says...

So was she from Lancashire or Greater Manchester? She can't be from both.
So was she from Lancashire or Greater Manchester? She can't be from both. Miss Hoolie
  • Score: 4

3:03pm Fri 7 Feb 14

woolywords says...

Miss Hoolie wrote:
So was she from Lancashire or Greater Manchester? She can't be from both.
~with that kind of mentality, I'd much prefer that she is from Manchester, even if she has a split personality..

Were it me, I'd have told her to put the goldfish in a pan, the hamster in the fishbowl and wait until the store that sold her the cage, to open.
And if there were no fishbowl, there is always the microwave oven option..
[quote][p][bold]Miss Hoolie[/bold] wrote: So was she from Lancashire or Greater Manchester? She can't be from both.[/p][/quote]~with that kind of mentality, I'd much prefer that she is from Manchester, even if she has a split personality.. Were it me, I'd have told her to put the goldfish in a pan, the hamster in the fishbowl and wait until the store that sold her the cage, to open. And if there were no fishbowl, there is always the microwave oven option.. woolywords
  • Score: -4

4:48pm Fri 7 Feb 14

darwenTower says...

These people should be blacklisted by the emergency services and be refused service should they ever need it.
These people should be blacklisted by the emergency services and be refused service should they ever need it. darwenTower
  • Score: 0

5:09pm Fri 7 Feb 14

Copperhead says...

I don't know what defines her stupidity the most - needing help to assemble a pet's cage, or thinking the 999 emergency number was appropriate.
I don't know what defines her stupidity the most - needing help to assemble a pet's cage, or thinking the 999 emergency number was appropriate. Copperhead
  • Score: 3

6:10pm Fri 7 Feb 14

ossymargaret4 says...

Has anyone considered that she may have learning difficulties
Has anyone considered that she may have learning difficulties ossymargaret4
  • Score: 4

7:58pm Fri 7 Feb 14

happycyclist says...

Education, education, education...
Education, education, education... happycyclist
  • Score: 3

1:14pm Sat 8 Feb 14

geegee3 says...

If other was no apparrant medical reason for this wasted call then the stupid time wastr should be slapped with a charge.
If other was no apparrant medical reason for this wasted call then the stupid time wastr should be slapped with a charge. geegee3
  • Score: 0

1:16pm Sat 8 Feb 14

geegee3 says...

Oops !!! sorry time waster I meant to say brain going faster than finger on this one.
Oops !!! sorry time waster I meant to say brain going faster than finger on this one. geegee3
  • Score: 0

2:02pm Sat 8 Feb 14

vicn1956 says...

For her own safety she needs putting in a secure institution.
If she knew what she was doing it's time to bring back the stocks so people can voice their anger!
For her own safety she needs putting in a secure institution. If she knew what she was doing it's time to bring back the stocks so people can voice their anger! vicn1956
  • Score: 0

2:30pm Sat 8 Feb 14

phil kernot says...

She needs sectioning under the mental health act as she has mental issues
She needs sectioning under the mental health act as she has mental issues phil kernot
  • Score: 0

9:18pm Sat 8 Feb 14

prospectorpete says...

daft cow
daft cow prospectorpete
  • Score: 0

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