You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

Triple-zero calls for barking dog, hiccups

AAP logoAAP 2/11/2016 Rebecca Chirichiello

Barking dogs, broken table legs, hiccups - these are just some of the thousands of "emergency" calls made to triple-zero, NSW authorities say.

Fed-up paramedics are pleading with the public to think before they dial, saying 90 per cent of the calls to the emergency hotline are from callers with non life-threatening problems who still expect an emergency response.

According to NSW Ambulance in the 2015-16 financial year, 239 people called triple-zero because they were having trouble sleeping.

A further 540 calls were made to the emergency hotline because of a toothache, 61 people called because of feeling itchy and 10 calls came through for hiccups.

Other calls came through for matters that didn't even relate to health, including barking dogs, things stuck in hair, taxi bookings and broken table legs.

NSW Ambulance Senior Assistant Commissioner David Dutton launched the campaign "Do You Really Need an Ambulance? - Is Your Urgency an Emergency" on Wednesday asking members of the public think twice before dialling triple-zero.

"I would call on all members of the public to really think before making that call," Mr Dutton said in statement.

"You can help us to save lives simply by making an informed decision about the level of care you require and making the right call," he said.

More than 22,000 triple-zero callers had been directed to more appropriate services by hotline staff and many of these callers took their frustration out on staff when they didn't receive an emergency response.

Mr Dutton said anyone in an emergency situation or unsure if they need paramedic care should still call triple-zero.

CRAZY NSW TRIPLE-ZERO HEALTH CALLS

PROBLEM NO. OF CALLS

Boils 125

Can't Sleep 239

Ear ache 287

Hiccups 10

Itchy 61

Sore throat 93

Toothache 540

* Source NSW Ambulance for period Financial Year 2015/16

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon