Politicians looking sick on television, premonitions telling psychics who is ill and wanting help to change a DVD.
These are some amusing reasons Canberrans have requested an ambulance in recent years, as recalled from one emergency call taker.
Ian Roebuck has a stressful but rewarding job as an emergency dispatcher for ACT Ambulance Service. And sometimes, when the situations are far from life threatening, it is also quite bizarre.
Such was the case when someone dialled 000 while watching question time on TV, worried Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce looked very sick.
"They were genuinely concerned that he needed quick medical attention," Mr Roebuck said.
"We explained that he's an adult and can request his own ambulance."
During another shift, a self-proclaimed psychic had a premonition that a stranger at a certain address was getting seriously ill. Fortunately Mr Roebuck found the phone number for that address, and concluded after a slightly strange conversation with the residents that everyone there was well and healthy.
It seems some Canberrans who call ambulances for rather trivial reasons forget its often expensive price tag.
When a horror movie made one person feel queasy, they called 000 and asked to be assessed in their cinema seat because if they left they'd waste their expensive premium ticket.
Similarly, the ambulance bill likely slipped one woman's mind when she faked a medical condition to get a "free" taxi ride to the hospital because it was a short walk from her boyfriend's house.
But sometimes callers just want some company.
"We had an elderly lady fall and was stuck on the floor, so we sent some paramedics to assess her, put her back to bed and put on a DVD to help her get to sleep," Mr Roebuck said.
"She rang back two hours later and said the movie was finished so can we please send those nice young men back to put another one on."
On occasion, people confuse 000 with the RSPCA. Mr Roebuck once received a call from someone who thought a magpie that had been perched on one branch for several hours was in distress.
Some callers forget emergencies don't stick to a 9am-5pm schedule. When Mr Roebuck returned a call that had dropped out early in the morning, the person said they cancelled the call because they weren't sure if the ambulance was open.
And very rarely, the mark is missed not by the patient but a bystander.
A memorable call was from an onlooker concerned about a man laying facedown on grass in a public space. On arrival, paramedics discovered he was napping there because he couldn't do so in his noisy household.
Mr Roebuck said it was often difficult to determine when a caller was misinformed or a hoaxer. But he stressed the importance of taking them by their word.
"Nine times out of 10 calls are not a genuine medical emergency," he said.
"But you can never take the risk in case it is that one in 10 scenario."
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