So far, no-one in authority has dared to create a definition for today, as to what is deemed to constitute an emergency. There has been much criticism of the public misuse of emergency call numbers. There has also been some discussion about the responses from the police, in particular, to what would be considered real emergencies.
It was good to read in our community paper a heartfelt thank you to local emergency services, in particular the retained fire service, (not paid full time fire officers)for their assistance in a recent major incident.
However, the concerns about police response are not exclusive to the United Kingdom. There is a Canadian story of a man who phoned his emergency services number:-
The man awoke during the night, disturbed by noises in an outbuilding in which he had tools and other equipment. He realised there were intruders who, likely, would not take long to work their way to his house. The man called the police on the emergency number. He was told the police were “busy on other calls right now” but would get to him as soon as practicable.
“You’ll get the intruders if you come now” he replied. The response was the same as before.
The man waited ten more minutes and phoned again. The response he got was the same as before.
Five minutes later, the householder phone the police again. This time, he told the emergency operator not to worry about his earlier calls because he had shot the intruders!
Within minutes a helicopter was flying overhead and police cars arrived on the scene. The outcome was, the police made several arrests of surprised felons, who were in rude health.
That says it all.