Ambulance service call assessors have spoken of the abuse they receive on a regular basis.

West Midlands Ambulance Service has reported callers swearing, verbally abusing, and making sexual remarks to call staff.

Integrated emergency and urgent care director, Jeremy Brown, has worked for WMAS for 30 years both as a paramedic and in control rooms.

He said: “Swearing, screaming, threats of violence and racial abuse are all too common and it’s not acceptable and not okay.

“Call Assessors routinely accept that this level of abuse is part of the job and hardly report abusive calls, but it doesn’t mean that they aren’t affected by the level of abuse they receive.

“If you ever need to call 999 or 111, all I ask is that you are courteous and treat my staff with respect.”

Mr Brown added: “Call assessors are the first voice you hear when you call 999 for an ambulance. They are there to do the very best by each and every patient, being abusive, difficult and offensive to them is not going to help a patient and does have an impact on call assessors personally.

“When people call 999 for help, call assessors often talk to people at their most vulnerable and often at a person’s low point in their lives. Having taken 999 calls myself, I know how difficult a job it can be at times.

“As a call assessor you’re trained to diffuse situations and calm down callers so that we can get the vital information we need to arrange the best help quickly. It’s understandable when callers are fraught and frightened but it’s not an excuse to be abusive.”

Some of the examples of abuse the service’s call assessors shared included being called a ‘murderer’, threats of physical assault, being told it was their fault if someone dies, as well as threats of sexual abuse and explicit remarks.