A MAN with smelly feet and a woman with period pains who both dialled 999 for help are among those causing problems for the emergency services.

Call handlers on Teesside also had to deal with a woman who needed prescription glasses for her son and requested an ambulance to go and collect them.

People who misuse the 999 service are being warned they could face a £80 fine or an antisocial behaviour order.

Cleveland Police and the North-East Ambulance Service (NEAS) trust yesterday released details of the calls, and launched a joint bid to ensure their resources are used where they are most needed and callers with genuine emergencies are not being put at risk.

Gayle White, from the NEAS customer care team, said: “Our message is very clear. Please don’t hesitate to call us if you or someone you know find themselves with a life-threatening medical emergency, but remember to think twice. For every inappropriate call-out we receive, you could potentially be putting someone else’s life in danger.”

The man with smelly feet called for an ambulance as the odour was making him feel nauseous.

Other examples of nuisance calls that the police have dealt with include a man in a restaurant who had found a hair in his food and one caller complaining he had no credit on a mobile phone.

Superintendent Clive Pengilley, specialist operations and communications officer for Cleveland Police, said: “The misuse of the 999 system impacts on the ability of the emergency services to respond to real emergencies with obvious implications for the most vulnerable or those in need of urgent assistance.”

PC Dawn Young said: “Each month we receive about 250 unnecessary calls to police.

The majority of them are either non-emergency calls or have been dialled maliciously.”

General manager for accident and emergency at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust, Ann Carey said: “It’s unfortunate that the excellent emergency call system we have is spoilt by a few people who do not realise they could be putting someone’s life at risk by making an unnecessary 999 call.

“It would be great if, this Christmas, people could think through their actions a little more carefully.”