A MAN who wanted a lift home and a woman complaining about ‘noisy’ ambulance sirens because they “hurt people’s ears” are among the “inappropriate” 999 calls made to South Western Ambulance Service.

The ambulance service said “unnecessary” calls made over the busy festive period “could delay emergency help for people in real need of an ambulance” or even “put a life at risk.”

In a bid to put the message across to members of the public ahead of Christmas, the trust has compiled a list of 10 calls the service had received where people had phoned for the “wrong reasons”.

Other calls made by members of the public recently included a man who had found an injured seagull in his house, a woman whose dog had died, a woman whose flatmate had punched a wall and a man who was having “strange dreams”.

On another occasion, a woman called the ambulance service about her nail which had come off.

She said: “My whole nail has come off, and it’s bleeding. And they told me last time I needed to get an ambulance.”

The call handler then replied: “The 999 service is extremely busy, and priority is being given to patients who are assessed as immediately at risk of dying.”

Before the caller says: “Yeah. I’ve just been at the hospital for three hours, and no one’s seen me.”

While another man called for help because he was sweating when he used his computer.

South Western Ambulance Service said demand for the service is likely to peak between today and Boxing Day when staff are expected to deal with more than 3,100 incidents a day.

It is now urging people to only call 999 when someone is seriously ill or injured, and their life may be at risk.

David Fletcher, head of South Western Ambulance Service Foundation Trust’s clinical hubs, said: “The 999 service is only to be used for extremely urgent or life-threatening emergencies, and we urge people to use it wisely.

“If you call because someone is unconscious, not breathing, or has serious bleeding, you are making the right call.

“But calling for an ambulance when it is not absolutely necessary puts additional pressure on our limited resources, and may mean we cannot reach those who are most in need.

He added: “During peak periods, like the festive season, every inappropriate call has the potential to put a life at risk and delay a response to a genuine emergency.

“Please think carefully before calling 999 and ask yourself – ‘is it a real emergency?’”

During non-emergency incidents, people are urged to call 111, see a GP or a pharmacist, or visit an NHS Walk in Centre.