Friday, 16 September 2011
There follows the transcript of a real call to the emergency services.
Operator: Which service do you require?
Caller: Ermmm, Ambulance I suppose.
Operator: Before you go on, you do know that we take prank calls very seriously?
Caller: Of course I do! This isn’t a prank!
Operator: And we don’t waste time with trivial calls!
Caller [Becoming increasingly irate!]: This is no trivial call! The patient is in a critical condition!
Operator: You see one in five calls are about stupid stuff like heart attacks or brain trauma. Have you people never heard of taxis?
Caller [Exasperated]: No, the patient really needs help!
Operator: You know one in five calls are a waste of highly trained managerial and public relations time.
Caller [Angry now]: You’re not listening! The patient needs help right now!
Operator: Are you really, really, really sure?
Caller [Yelling]: Yes, really, really, really, bloody sure!
Operator: No need to shout! I believe you now. So, what is the nature of the patient’s problem?
Caller: Haemorrhaging badly.
Caller: Really, really badly, and sounding incoherent.
Operator: I see, well, what’s the nature of the injury?
Caller: It’s horrible! It’s flowing out of everywhere.
Caller [Sobbing now]: First it was the promises, now the cash is haemorrhaging all over the place, please, please send help!
Operator: That is horrible!
Caller: First it was the cancer centre up there beyond passport controls in stroke city [Derry/Londonderry), then it was the other promises on everything, everything I tell you!
Operator: Oh, I see. Where will we send the help to then?
Caller: Department of Health, Social Services and Public Safety, Dundonald House, Belfast.
Operator: Well we can’t do that
Operator: Well don’t you know we’re shutting down some A&E departments and right now there are too many people at your nearest emergency department. Can I suggest you ring the new 111 number.. If you are still having problems make begging noises outside the Department of Finance. They’re giving all that money to students to subsidise their fees but there should still be few pounds left.