Status: 26.09.2023, 06:55 a.m.
A woman now dialed the emergency number, for a curious reason. (Symbolic image) © Eloisa Ramos/imago
A woman in Vienna triggered a blue light operation at the weekend because she was sitting on the toilet and realized that she had run out of toilet paper.
Vienna – The rescue workers in Austria are – just like in Germany – overworked. Not only because of a lack of personnel, but also because of incorrect assignments. An impressive example of this was provided by a woman in Vienna at the weekend. The elderly lady dialed the emergency number and reported an "emergency at the toilet." When the emergency services arrived on site, it turned out that the Viennese woman had only run out of toilet paper.
Woman in Vienna dials emergency call because she runs out of toilet paper: "Paramedic from the roll"
The Viennese emergency services moved out on Friday (22 September) with blue lights after the lady's emergency call was received. "This operation was a grab in the toilet," commented the City of Vienna ironically on platform X (formerly Twitter). "When a team from the Vienna professional rescue arrived, the woman demanded new toilet paper. Even the experienced paramedics were off the roll," the statement continued.
It is unlikely that the lady's health insurance will cover the costs of the operation, as there was no medical emergency. It is not known exactly how much the "fresh toilet paper" will cost the woman in Vienna, but at least a three-digit amount. Curious cases had repeatedly occurred around scarce toilet paper, even during the Corona pandemic.
Incorrect use of rescue services is becoming more and more frequent: callers cheat on reasons for emergency calls
Such emergency calls are becoming more and more frequent, a spokesman for the Vienna professional rescue service confirmed to the Austrian medium Heute.at. For example, a paraplegic woman in the Austrian capital once called the emergency number at 22 p.m. so that someone would open the window for her. Around three o'clock in the morning, the phone rang again at the emergency services: Someone should close the window again, it was now a bit fresh.
The problem is that the callers on the phone state that they can no longer move or that they are not well, the professional rescue spokesman told the Austrian portal. "It is only on site that it turns out that the person has been in a wheelchair for years or has been ill for a long time and that the malaise is not an acute medical problem." Often the problem is loneliness. People don't have anyone to take care of them, the spokesperson said.
Emergency vs. Non-Urgent Health Concerns
Austria: Emergency number 144 only in acute emergencies. For non-urgent health concerns: Hotline 1450.
Germany: Emergency number 112 only in acute emergencies. For non-urgent health concerns: Hotline 116 117 of the medical on-call service – or contact your family doctor.
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Dialing the emergency number without good reason endangers human lives
What sounds like an amusing mission at first glance endangers human lives. According to statistics, the risk of a fatal accident is around four times higher for rescue workers when driving with blue lights and sirens than when driving in an ambulance.
In addition, the rescue forces are tied up by incorrect deployments, real emergencies may then be neglected or treated too late. Especially in the case of heart attacks, strokes or traffic accidents, every second counts.