Ambulance Crews Fail to Respond to Serious Belching

A Norfolk man is seeking to sue the local ambulance service after they took nearly three quarters of an hour to respond to a violent outbreak of wind. Dennis Findus was at home one Sunday afternoon when a ferocious and prolonged belch knocked him off his feet and startled the dog.

"It came out of nowhere," Mr Findus said. "One minute I was leaning over to switch on the TV for Countryfile, the next I was flat on my back behind the coffee table, staring up at the cobwebs around the light fitting and wondering why one of my slippers was on top of the bookcase."

Mr Findus puts the episode down to a combination of a heavy lunch, four cans of lager and unusually high air pressure for the time of year. "It was a perfect storm," he said. "But I knew that there was more to come and I had to get help as quickly as possible. I remembered from my basic first aid training that it's best to avoid any sudden movements or changes in altitude, so I remained on my back and inched over to the phone."

Official records show that the ambulance took 42 minutes to respond. To Mr Findus, lying in mortal peril on his living room floor, it seemed much longer. "The operator stayed on the line and tried to keep me calm," he said. "But there wasn't much she could really do. After all, she was safe and cosy in some operations room somewhere, whereas I was at the epicentre of a terrific outpouring of noxious gas and in constant fear that more was on its way. It was a nightmare."

In a statement yesterday, ambulance service bosses say that they regret any distress that Mr Findus may have experienced, but at the time all their units were attending a fart on the other side of town.

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