As a child I was taught that 999 was a very important number used in emergencies only, to the extent that I would still be very cautious of dialing it now for fear of jamming the phone line and preventing a real emergency call from being answered.
It would appear that many people don't quite share the same perspective. I've heard all manner of outrageous stories; people phoning 999 for the date, the local B&Q number, period pain...
This week a patient was brought into Eye Casualty by ambulance having dialed 999 because she had conjunctivitis.
Give me strength!!