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The ridiculous reasons Victorians are calling an ambulance

Victorians are calling emergency services because they can’t sleep, are having bad dreams, or are sunburnt.

A new study, examining the number of ambulance call-outs between 2008 and 2015, found emergency vehicles were being used more frequently for non-urgent situations than population growth accounted for.

Executive director of clinical operations for Ambulance Victoria Mick Stephenson said a secondary referral system helps filter out less urgent triple zero calls.

“They work through a well established, internationally recognised algorithm, and they determine based on symptoms, whether or not that illness sounds serious,” he said.

“If it’s serious it goes straight through to an emergency dispatch, if it’s not serious it comes through to the secondary referral.

“The secondary referral is about 30% of the total triple zero case load.”

The figures come as police recently introduced a non-urgent number to call for situations that do not require immediate assistance.

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