Members of the public will be encouraged to Tweet for an ambulance under wide-ranging reforms announced by the government over the weekend.
The phasing out of human emergency services operators was announced in a joint press conference by Health Secretary Andrew Lansley and Home Secretary Teresa May.
“People can use the hashtag and precede it with a brief and to-the-point description of their particular problem,” explained Lansley.
“One of the problems with the service at the moment is that people do tend to go on a bit about their symptoms, and the 140-character limit should help them to focus.”
“Additionally, this will help us prioritise the service during busy periods by, say, counting the number of re-tweets.”
The minister advised users not to geo-tag their Tweets, for privacy reasons.
The #helpineedanambulance hashtag is due for implementation by 2014, with #quickgetthepolice and #fuckmyhouseisonfire a year later.
When asked about the plans for the Coastguard service, Ms May replied: “coastguard?”