A new campaign has been launched by North East Ambulance Service urging people to think before dialling 999.
Mark Cotton, Assistant Director of Communications, said: “This campaign is targeted at those people who call us and expect us to send an ambulance when there are other alternatives.
“The aim is to make people think about whether they really need an ambulance before they dial 999.”
The campaign features three hard-hitting messages aimed at making people stop and think before dialling 999 for an emergency ambulance. These are:
You wouldn’t call the fire service to blow out a candle;
You wouldn’t call the coastguard if you fell in a puddle; and
We risk our lives to save yours.
Accompanying all three messages is a reminder to call 111 when an incident is less urgent than 999. The 111 number is a Freephone number that is staffed 24 hour a day, seven days a week.
The last message also features Gilesgate based rapid response paramedic Sarah Ulph.
She said: “I think it’s important for us to try and educate the public that our ambulances are emergency vehicles and that there are other ways of accessing help without calling 999.
“I go to a lot of calls for people that don’t necessarily need an ambulance but who called 999 because they didn’t know who to call. I think publicising the 111 number on the side of an ambulance, alongside these messages, will help do that.”