A PARAMEDIC said she was “shocked” to be called out to a potentially life threatening emergency only to discover that the patient was, in fact, a dog.
Earlier this week the North West Ambulance Service NHS Trust, received a 999 call from an address in Preston, reporting a male was fitting, but, before the dispatcher could take any more details, the caller hung up and did not answer follow-up calls.
Fearing the worst a paramedic was sent to the address, racing through traffic, using blue lights and sirens, to the scene of the emergency.
On arrival at the address, the paramedic was greeted by a sobbing woman and two men and who she asked where she could find the patient.
It was then that the group pointed towards a dead dog on the floor.
Speaking of the incident, the Paramedic said: “I had just been to a cardiac arrest patient so was obviously very shocked at this call – it was written all over my face.
“I told them that they should have called a vet, not 999.”
The incident has further reiterated the need for #Team999 - NWAS’, a new public education initiative which aims to show people when it’s appropriate to call 999 and the care options available when they do.
Director of Operations at NWAS, Derek Cartwright said: “Although we understand that losing a family pet can be upsetting, this incident is a blatant misuse of the emergency ambulance service.
“Please remember that ambulances are for emergencies only.
“There are other care options available such as visiting a GP or a walk-in centre, calling NHS 111 or, in this case, calling on the emergency response service provided by most vets.”