ONCE again we are told that ambulances are failing to meet their emergency targets in Huddersfield’s more rural areas.

This problem seems to have been going on for many years and still persists.

Yorkshire Ambulance Service has tried different ways to improve the times, including changing stand-by points where ambulances park up ready for the next 999 call.

If you are waiting for an ambulance in a true emergency then every minute must seem like five.

And that word ‘true’ may be at the root of the problem for how many ambulances are being called out on non-emergencies every day?

How many times must paramedics face the frustration of dealing with a patient who is a time-waster, who could have made their own way to hospital or who has the slightest injury.

If people make malicious calls to the police or fire service then they can face court action.

But with ambulances it’s a finer line and people still don’t seem to get the message to only dial 999 if it’s a real emergency.

A frontline ambulance is not a taxi to hospital and it won’t help you bypass the waiting room at Huddersfield Royal Infirmary’s accident and emergency department.

Your call could prevent someone who is seriously injured or at risk of dying from getting the prompt treatment they need.

Think ‘do I really need an ambulance’ before dialling 999.