Paramedic called to treat pigeon

Monday 13 April

A London Ambulance Service paramedic flew to the aid of a collapsed woman yesterday (Sunday 12 April) only to find it was a pigeon that needed tweetment. 
Senior Paramedic Rachel Lack was spitting feathers when she arrived on scene to find it was a wounded bird of the feathered variety that she'd been called to help.

She said: "When I arrived I saw three men and a woman standing around a pigeon. I asked if they had called an ambulance for the pigeon and they said they had.

“They were surprised to learn that the ambulance service is for humans not animals." 
A language barrier meant the call handler in the control room believed the patient was a woman - not a pigeon - in need of help.
A little bird told Director of Operations Jason Killens about the incident when Emergency Planning Officer Chris Hawkswell tweeted about the incident under the hashtag #birdgate from his @LAS_TacAdvisor account.
Jason said: "Fortunately incidents like this are very rare but we'd still like to remind Londoners to use us wisely and contact our colleagues in the RSPCA for advice on animal welfare."


  • We were called just after 5.50pm to the Broadway, Southall.
  • We sent a senior paramedic as well as two cycle responders from St John Ambulance who were providing medical cover at a nearby event.

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For further information about the London Ambulance Service or this news release please contact the communications department on 020 7783 2286.