- Cut finger
- Can't sleep
- Can't poop
- Can't find my car keys
- Barrack Obama is going to win the election
- I've had a headache since 10 o'clock
LEE COUNTY: For 3 months, NBC2 Investigators have been working with emergency services collecting calls and riding with paramedics. We discovered a large number of calls coming into 911 are for anything but an emergency, which puts your safety at risk.
911 operator: What is the address of your emergency?
Caller: We are at the corner of Edison and Cleveland-- 3 car accident at least with injuries
It's Friday night and multiple calls are coming into the 911.
But this story isn't about people who call 911 for a real emergency. This story is about the 40 percent of calls that aren't for an emergency at all.
911: What's your emergency?
Caller: Um, yes I locked my two keys in the car.
Caller: I'm depressed because [expletive deleted] Obama's going to get the thing
911: What's going to happen? Obama's going to get what?
Caller: He's going to get elected.
Caller: She needs to go to the hospital because she has a toothache
Caller: Yeah I ran out of gas.
Caller: I'm at the Chik Fil A on Colonial and I'm trying to get an ambulance to move and they won't move. I'm parked here in the heat, I'm about to need an ambulance myself.
911: So, you are not having a real medical emergency right now?
Caller: It will be if I sit here in this heat any longer!
The four days we rode along with EMS, only 2 cases were truly life threatening emergencies.
"Typically 911 is the first thing people think of, and it's the easiest thing because it's guaranteed," said Paramedic Robert Bertulli.
When people call 911 unnecessarily, it puts a strain on the system and puts your safety at risk.
"It happens all the time," said Bertulli.
When crews are tied up on a call for a stubbed toe or nosebleed, EMS must shuffle ambulances and your ambulance could be coming from farther away.
"Inevitably someone's going to suffer as a result of calls made that are unnecessary," said Bertulli.
Only 20-percent of the calls that come into 911 are truly life threatening emergencies - like heart attacks.
Forty-percent of calls are emergencies – not life threatening, but serious enough you shouldn't be driving to a hospital.
The remaining 40-percent of calls are not emergencies at all.[...]
- The first call of the day was for a drunk lady that had a family that was sick and tired of her. They were stating that she couldn't drink anymore or she was going to kill her liver. The patient adamantly didn't want to go to the hospital, and this doesn't count as being a threat to yourself or others. Refusal #1.
- Next we we responded to a possible man down at the boat ramp. We had no idea what we were even looking for. The dispatch notes stated that a man was dropped off by a boat at the boat ramp. The man's wife called through onstar, and she was not on scene. We ended up actually finding the guy, who was sitting on a bench waiting for his wife to give him a ride. Apparently his phone died and his wife was scared when she couldn't get ahold of him. Refusal #2.
- Next up, a fender bender. Not much explaining needed here, no injuries to anyone on scene. Refusal #3.
- Next was a pedestrian hit by a vehicle. This wasn't as bad as it sounds, the car was backing out of a parking space and knocked someone off their bike. The patient was a a law enforcement substation with a laceration on his elbow. He just wanted to get checked out. He knew he didn't want to go to the hospital. Thank you LE for having us dispatched for a bandage! Refusal #4.
- Next up, another bicycle accident. Patient had a recent history of stroke, with unilateral deficits. The patient decided he wanted to get back on his bike. The bike didn't think it was time yet, and threw him off. The patient had some small lacerations to his ankle from the sprocket. He didn't want to go to the ER. Refusal #5.
- Finally, epistaxis at 3am. Mild hypertension, nothing much else to explain here. He went POV. Refusal #6.
AIM: The aim of this study was to analyze possible differences in the use of ambulance service between densely and sparsely populated areas. METHODS: This study was designed as a 2-step consecutive study that included the ambulance service in 4 different areas with different geographical characteristics. A specific questionnaire was distributed to the enrolled ambulance services. Completion of one questionnaire was required for each ambulance mission, that is, 1 per patient, during the study periods. For calculations of P values, geographic area was treated as a 4-graded ordered variable, from the most densely populated to the most sparsely populated (ie, urban-suburban-rural-remote rural area). Statistical tests used were Mann-Whitney U test and Spearman rank statistic, when appropriate. All P values are 2 tailed and considered significant if below .01. RESULTS: The medical status of the patients in the prehospital care situation was more often severe in the sparsely populated areas. In addition, drugs were more often used in the ambulances in these areas. In the sparsely populated areas, ambulance use was more frequently judged as the appropriate mode of transportation compared with the more densely populated areas. CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that the appropriateness of the use of ambulance is not optimal. Furthermore, our data suggest that geographical factors, that is, population density, is related to inappropriate use. Thus, strategies to improve the appropriateness of ambulance use should probably take geographical aspects into consideration.