London Ambulance Service (LAS) has revealed the shocking extent of abuse handed to staff answering life-saving 999 calls in a new recording.
A control room worker, known as Jon, is sworn at 30 times during the three-minute conversation.
A man concerned for a friend called the emergency number but at the same time hurled abuse and even threats to kill the call handler.
Jon calmly, amid the trade of abuse, tells the furious caller his ambulance was being arranged.
To this the caller replied: "Well sort it out you mug!"
He then demanded the service was dispatched quicker, saying: “Send me a f****** ambulance now.”
He then threatens to visit the service’s switchboard, based in Waterloo.
He added: “Where’s your switchboard, Waterloo?
“Hurry up c***.
“Well I’m coming to Waterloo. (I’ll come to) your switchboard and f***** kill you.”
Jules Lockett, LAS education and development manager, said the service is now training its 500 control room staff in how to diffuse volatile situations.
He said: “Listening to this call is truly shocking.
“We are used to dealing with people who are distressed and upset or even angry but we should not be subjected to this kind of abuse.
“Our call handlers need to be able to take patient details, so they can get the right help to them as quickly as possible. Abuse like this obstructs our ability to deliver patient care.”
"The service is now training its 500 control room staff in how to diffuse volatile situations.
“No training would calm this caller down who rang back three times and continued to be verbally abusive.
“However, we are now encouraging our control room staff to report abusive calls and get support if they experience this at work.
"We also encourage them to alert their manager and end the call once we have given pre arrival instructions."
The recording was posted by LAS on March 7 but the service will not reveal where in the capital the caller was ringing from.