Sleepless In Seattle? – No, Swansea!

Sleepless In Seattle? - No, Swansea!

© CC - Graham Richardson from Plymouth, England

It’s often said that fact is stranger than fiction. Well, consider a few of these facts. A sleepless person and someone else who got onion juice in their eye were among the people who made 999 calls in 2020.

One caller reported a pigeon with an injured wing and another said they thought they had got faeces in a cut. Yet another had trapped their finger in a door.

The Welsh Ambulance Service shared the examples while reminding people to call 999 only for serious or life-threatening emergencies. It said of the 457,375 calls made to the service between October 2019 and September 2020, almost a quarter were “non-essential” – code for just plain daft!

Other examples included someone with toothache and another person with a buzzing sound in their ear.

Chief Executive Jason Killens said: “Our ambulance service exists to help people who are seriously ill or injured, or where there is an immediate threat to their life. That’s people who’ve stopped breathing, people with chest pain or breathing difficulties, loss of consciousness, choking, severe allergic reactions, catastrophic bleeding or someone who is having a stroke.”

He added, presumably through, err, gritted teeth: “People with toothache and trapped fingers still have a clinical need, but calling 999 for that need is ill-judged and misguided when there are so many other ways to access more appropriate help.”

Pitiful, really pitiful; bring on the vaccine!

I remember reading a story about the 1950s when boys were taught as Wolf Cubs (and maybe still are) how to make an emergency telephone call from a GPO red call box. Even at less than 10 years of age, they had far more accrued wisdom than all the examples of “adults” quoted here.

Heck, if crime writers like myself came up with motives as weak as these for calling out the ambulance service in our thrillers, we’d be nicked for wasting readers’ time!

You really couldn’t make it up if you tried! Fact really is stranger than fiction…

Nora Johnson’s psychological crime thrillers ‘No Safe Place’, ‘Betrayal’, ‘The Girl in the Woods’, ‘The Girl in the Red Dress’, ‘No Way Back’, ‘Landscape of Lies’, ‘Retribution’, ‘Soul Stealer’, ‘The De Clerambault Code’ ( available online as eBook (€0.99;£0.99), Apple Books, paperback & audiobook. All profits to Costa del Sol Cudeca cancer charity  

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Nora Johnson

Novelist Nora Johnson offers insights on everything from current affairs to life in Spain, with humour and a keen eye for detail.