Taken from http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/content.cfm?story=268553
NB: All non-UK viewers, for "999" read "911".
999 call-out for broken finger nail
Paramedics answered a 999 call from a woman with a broken finger nail. And the fire service has been asked for advice about a leaky tap.
These are just two of the 375,000 time-wasting 999 calls made in the past year, putting other people's lives in danger.
The fire service, police and ambulance are launching a Think Before You Dial campaign in Bolton, Wigan and Leigh to help to reduce the number of calls that waste their time. If the campaign is successful, it will be extended across Greater Manchester.
The police have been called by someone asking for transport to court. And another caller asked for train times and road directions.
The fire service has been asked about leaks, and if it could help someone who had locked themselves out of their home.
Meanwhile, the ambulance service has been called to someone with an itchy back, period pains and broken finger nails.
Insp Mark Lee, from Greater Manchester police, said: "Last year, 75 per cent of our 999 calls were not real emergencies.
"We are asking people to think before they dial, and, if the situation is not an emergency, then please consider the alternatives."
County Fire Officer Barry Dixon, said: "There is no doubt that people who make malicious calls are putting lives needlessly at risk.
"People should remember that malicious calls can have very serious consequences and a fire engine cannot be in two places at once."
Greater Manchester ambulance service chief cxecutive John Burnside, added: "The most important message we want to get across is that while firefighters, police and paramedics spend their time attending a trivial call out, somebody, somewhere may really need us."
"We would never discourage anyone from dialling 999 for an ambulance in a real emergency, but we would encourage people to use their common sense."
The campaign was launched yesterday at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton and is officially backed by Bolton Wanderers Football Club.
It will target two types of callers - those who put lives at risk by making hoax calls and those who make inappropriate 999 calls without thinking of the consequences.
Anyone caught making a hoax call faces a tough punishment, which could be a steep fine or even a prison sentence.