This didn't happen to me, but was overheard on the radio and related to me by someone who knows someone in Control (yes it's vague, but rest assured that it did actually happen).
A call came into Control that a young woman had a foot injury. It was prioritized and a there was no ambulance to immediately send, so it was put in the queue of low priority calls.
A short time later, a call came in asking where the ambulance was as the patient was actually a victim of a hanging.
An ambulance was immediately despatched and HEMS (Helicopter Medical Service) was also activated.
When the crew turned up, the patient wasn't hanging, but instead her foot had been run over by a pram. There was no obvious injury. The impression that has been given is that the caller lied to Control in order to get an ambulance quicker.
Actually, I know that they lied, but to say how I know this would potentially break confidentiality
And you wonder why I sometimes want to stab people in the eyes with a wooden stick…
I realise there is a difference between people who have no understanding of how serious their injury or illness is (and therefore get a higher priority than they would if a medical professional were examining them), but this is a pretty cynical attempt to
get their pizza delivered trip to hospital quicker than someone who more genuinely requires an ambulance.
This act of bastardry could well have meant that someone who really needed an ambulance had to wait longer to get to hospital. This it turn potentially puts lives in danger. That is not counting how much it cost to activate the helicopter, or the cost if someone had been run over by the ambulance as it raced to the scene.
I know there are some folks from the police service who read this, so a quick question – Is it against the law to do this to the emergency services and if so would it be realistic to have the person charged? I understand you can be charged with “wasting police time”, can this be translated to wasting any emergency services time? Once again, this shouldn't be directed to people who are just a bit dim, but towards those who are cynically manipulative of the system.
Or can we just take them round the corner and beat them up?