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LISTEN: Time Wasting 999 Calls Released

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7:01am 18th December 2014

Pirate FM is handed a string of real life examples of time-wasting calls to 999 made in the southwest.

They include a woman who called the emergency number, asking for details of directory enquiries.

You can hear some of the examples here.

Southwestern Ambulance Service has passed us the audio because officials are worried they are putting lives at risk.

More people call for paramedics over the festive period, but officials say numbers are already up on last year.

Officials describe the levels of calls as "unprecedented."

Deputy Clinical Director Adrian South said, "It can sometimes be difficult for people to know where to turn when they are worried about their health, particularly when they feel that the issue is too urgent to wait to see their own GP.

"If someone's life may be in danger with a condition such as severe chest pain, shortness of breath, unconsciousness or following a serious road traffic collision or injury with uncontrollable bleeding, they should call 999. If the condition is less urgent then the NHS111 service is a fantastic source of advice, and can direct people to a wide range of NHS services including pharmacies, GPs, Minor injury units and Walk-in Centres.

"At the moment we are dealing with an unprecedented level of demand. Its important to consider that every time we deal with a call which is not an emergency, it may delay our response to patients who are severely ill or injured, those cases where every second counts."

7:01am 18th December 2014

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