A bit of a rant and long winded but couldn't believe what happened today.. It's a while since I've had to call for an ambulance .. But today in Durham market place an old boy fell over ... I went to help a young lad who was trying to get him up... I happened to be chatting with an old work colleague who I hadn't seen for a couple of years... we are both ex fire service.. We got him up but he was struggling to stand and I thought sluring his speech.. he had 2 tablets clutched in his hand which he said were for back pain not a heart condition as I first thought. His wife was there but very shaken and rambling a bit.. Anyway we established they were going for a bus to a car park and then drive home in their car We helped him to the bu's stop but by then I had decided he needed an ambulance... and there was no way he should be driving... He said he wasn't in pain but was breathless and felt weak... 86 yrs old and his wife said this had happened before.. So called the ambulance.... against the old boys wishes but in end he agreed.. The next 5 min was spent answering questions about his condition... I was put on hold while she checked on something and then passed to a further person who asked the same sort of questions before saying they would dispatch an ambulance.... a process which took 10 min or more but felt like an hour.. I couldn't believe it... I was getting a little angry I admit ..and kept asking them to just send an ambulance... the reply was they had to finish the assessment to establish what sort of ambulance was required... My reply was one that contained a crew who were capable of doing a proper assessment and get him to hospital for a thorough check.. I was told that they were busy but an ambulance was been sent... Kenny my mate had long gone for his car as he could see the bother I was having... I told them if the car arrived we would just take him ourselves...the reply was OK just call and cancel the ambulance....which is what eventually happened... We got him and his wife to a and e where there were 3 paramedic units sitting around with the crews chatting... (so much for been busy i thought )the ambulance crews were very helpful when I explained the situation and got him a wheelchair and took him in to be seen too... I'm struggling to see the wisdom of that procedure... surely if you call 999 and ask for an ambulance it shouldn't take them 10 or more minutes to decide to send one... Sorry for rant but I was really annoyed.. Andy.