South Western Ambulance Service is urging people to only call 999 in an emergency after they received a call about a cat who had taken a tumble.

The call was made by a member of the public in Plymouth, who had phoned up to say his girlfriend's cat had fallen down two flights of stairs.

The ambulance service has released a recording of the phone conversation to highlight the inappropriate calls they receive on a regular basis.

The 999 service should only be used for genuine, time-critical and life-threatening situations when emergency care really could be the difference between human life and death.

SWASFT spokesman
Call handlers are the first point of contact for the public in an emergency. Credit: ITV News West Country

Recent inappropriate calls:

  • A woman had broken her finger

  • A woman wanted the telephone number for a pharmacy

  • A woman had no transport to a hospital appointment

  • The caller decided to make a hoax call

  • A man was blocked-in by an ambulance attending an emergency call

The ambulance service provide emergency and urgent care to a population of over 5.5 million people across the South West.

As a result, they deal with around 2,500 incidents a day but say these kind of non-emergency calls put additional pressure on their limited resources.

If you are unsure whether you should call 999 there is more advice on their website.

Inappropriate use of the 999 service puts additional pressure on our limited resources, and may mean we cannot reach those people who are most in need of our care.

SWASFT spokesman