Language confusion leads to London Ambulance wild pigeon chase

When the London Ambulance Service (LAS) service was told there was a "collapsed bird" on a London street in an emergency call, they rushed to the spot to find it was a seriously injured pigeon and not a woman as they understood from the phone conversation.

The "collapsed bird" call to London's Ambulance Service turned out to be a dying pigeon

The "collapsed bird" call to London's Ambulance Service turned out to be a dying pigeon Image by detsang / CC BY 2.0

Paramedic Rachel Lack, arrived at the scene in Southall, west London, late Sunday afternoon. To her annoyance she found three men and a woman standing over a dying pigeon. They admitted that they had made the call for help for the bird.

When she told them the emergency services were for humans only, they seemed surprised to find out that this was the case, she added.  "They were surprised to learn that the ambulance service is for humans not animals."

The Evening Standard reported that the LAS  claimed that the misunderstanding was due to a language barrier.

Jason Killens, LAS director of operations reminded Londoners that while such calls were rare, it was important that the RSPCA should be used for birds or animals in these situations.

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