Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

Most bizarre calls to Welsh Ambulance Service last year revealed

The trust has released the transcripts of some of the most inappropriate calls received by its call handlers (Alamy/PA)
The trust has released the transcripts of some of the most inappropriate calls received by its call handlers (Alamy/PA)

Eating too much kebab, losing false teeth and getting a hand stuck in a letterbox are some of the most bizarre calls made to the emergency services in Wales over the past year.

Of the 414,149 calls the Welsh Ambulance Service received in 2023, 68,416 were not a life-or-death emergency.

Andy Swinburn, executive director of paramedicine, said: “Inappropriate calls put additional strain on an already overstretched service and may delay help for others.

“Our highly skilled paramedics and technicians are trained to help those whose life is in imminent danger.

“That’s people in cardiac arrest, people with chest pain or breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, choking, severe allergic reactions, catastrophic bleeding or someone who is having a stroke.

“People who’ve had a cough for a couple of days have a legitimate clinical need, but it’s ill-judged to call 999 when there are so many other ways to access help.

“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.”

The trust has released the transcripts of some of the most inappropriate calls received by its call handlers.

– 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

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****** letterbox.

Operator: How old are you?

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

– Call 5

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?