Most people know that having a spider on your pillow doesn't exactly constitute an emergency, but if everyone knew that, we wouldn't have this list of silly calls to chuckle at.
According to the UK's Metro today, the London Fire Brigade has revealed a list of some of the most bizarre and unnecessary calls made in the last year to 999, the UK equivalent of 911. The top ten calls feature a bevy of oddball problems, including a spider crossing a woman's pillow and another who spotted a fox in her yard with "an odd look on its face."
LFB senior officer Dave Brown says that in the past year the emergency line received about 100 misplaced calls per week and added that "we can be on speed dial for when something trivial happens."
Examples of more of those trivial occurrences include a leaky and noisy toilet ("call a plumber" was the official response), a man calling for help changing a tire, a woman trying to free her husband from a chastity belt, and an elderly woman tossing a glass of water at some fighting dogs that happened to be holding her dentures.
While the list is a humorous look at what Fire Brigade dispatchers have to put up with, revealing the calls is part of an ongoing effort to drive down the number of unnecessary calls for help. The LFB's official Twitter account has been tweeting some of its most bizarre cases today using the hashtag #nonemergency to remind the public of what doesn't qualify as an emergency.
Another effort in the bid against non-emergency is a video posted to the LFB's official Youtube page that features audio from real (silly) 999 calls, such as a bat in the kitchen. The video ends with a simple message that Brown reiterated: "999 - It's for emergencies."
"Our advice is simple – if it’s not an emergency, don’t ring 999," he said.