Dispatchers at the BC Ambulance Service hear the darndest things, but misuse of the 9-1-1 system can tie up the system unnecessarily.
From people calling the emergency service to say they're out of beer to wanting to know if swallowing toothpaste will make them ill, the ambulance service came up with a list of some of the most outrageous calls it received in 2012.
Some of the others that made the list include: people asking about a flea infestation in their house; asking for a quote for the cost of a trip in an ambulance; requesting a wake-up call for a morning doctor's appointment and asking the dispatcher to help them get through to their cellphone provider.
Its important to remember that were here to help people with emergency medical situations," Ambulance service director of dispatch operations Gord Kirk said in a news release. "Calls that are inappropriate divert resources from those who need swift medical attention.
Dispatchers handled close to 400,000 calls last year and only a small fraction were inappropriate. If a call is not of a medically urgent nature, the ambulance service recommends going to a walk-in clinic, making an appointment with a family doctor, calling the 8-1-1 tele-health service or visiting a hospital emergency department.