An ambulance service rushed to attend to a man claiming to have had a stroke, only to find out he made it up so he could get a free lift.
Paramedics at North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) revealed they took a man to hospital after he claimed to have lost ‘sensation’ in his legs.
Fearing he may have a critical circulation problem or even suffered a stroke he was rushed to an unnamed hospital by 999 medics.
But on arrival he walked out beaming – and admitted he was fine and just wanted a free lift to visit a friend on one of the wards.
Yesterday his actions were revealed on Twitter by furious ambulance chiefs stressing 999 was for emergencies only – not a free taxi.
It was revealed on Thursday morning by NWAS emergency medical technician (EMT) Shaun Gerrard and shared by the official NWAS account.
He wrote: ‘A patient rang for an ambulance last night as he had reduced sensation in his legs and mobility was poor.
‘We took him to hospital for him to then get up and walk off on arrival. He admitted he faked the whole lot just to get a lift to hospital to see his friend!’
The service has said this is what it has to deal with ‘day in day out’ and that unfortunately there is no law against wasting ambulance time.
Call handlers for the service answer upwards of 50 calls during their 12-hour shifts, many of which relate to serious and life-threatening emergencies.
Earlier on Thursday, the NWAS urged members of the public to only call 999 if there’s a genuine emergency.
Last month they revealed how one caller outrageously dialled 999 – requesting shopping and a shower.
While last year the NWAS marked the 80th anniversary of the 999 emergency number by releasing audio of some of the more bizarre calls taken.
These include a man who tries to order an ambulance in advance, saying he ‘might need it later’; another man whose emergency is that he ‘just wanted to go home’; and a woman whose dog has been run over.
Director of operations at NWAS Ged Blezard said: ‘Our call centre staff work very hard and play a vital role in the care of our patients. There are people alive today because of their actions.’