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  1. ITV Report

'Make the right call': plea after woman dials 999 because she needed groceries

Staff at the Trust, who take between 50 and 70 calls during a 12 hour shift, are asking people to "make the right call". Photo: PA

Call handlers for the North West Ambulance service are reminding people not to phone 999 unless in a genuine emergency - after getting a string of silly phone calls.

One woman called the Trust because she wanted some groceries and a shower.

Another man rang in to try to order an ambulance in advance, saying he "might need it later":

Other culprits revealed by the service include a man whose emergency is that he "just wanted to go home".

Staff at the Trust, who take between 50 and 70 calls during a 12 hour shift, are asking people to "make the right call" in deciding what service to ring - and to leave 999 free for those in serious or life threatening situations.

The 999 service is usually much busier during the winter months. Credit: PA

Can you imagine working a 12 hour shift like Emergency Medical Dispatcher, Daniel, taking at least 50 calls and this being one of them?

Wanting some groceries and needing a shower is not a reason to call 999.

– North West Ambulance service, via Facebook

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We take life threatening, serious calls which are important, but we take some other calls – for instance today a lady called who said she only had cheese and milk in and did not have a shower, and she wanted an emergency ambulance to go round and get shopping for her and wash her

– Daniel, call handler

But while it’s possible to see the funny side of some of these calls, they take up vital time and resources that should be deployed to those with a genuine emergency.

Director of operations at NWAS, Ged Blezard, said: “Our call centre staff work very hard and play a vital role in the care of our patients. There are people alive today because of their actions.”