The 111 system is for emergencies--- right? It’s OK to ring that number (911 in other countries). Picture this then. Your cat gets stuck up a tree and you start to panic because your little pussy is in trouble. You try to coax her down, trying all of her favourite treats and you even climb halfway up the offending tree to conduct your own rescue. Thankfully, you come to your senses and return to earth. This means you t6actfully withdraw and take you panic back inside. You watch from the window, but no--- pussy is still ensconced up the tree and letting the neighbourhood know that she is indeed distressed.
You have a flash--- next minute you are on the phone, ringing 111. Lo and behold--- ten minutes later a big red truck with large strong men (and one woman) arrives and they were up the tree and down with a struggling little pussy in their hands before you knew it. Off they went and all was normal again, until next time that is.
So when the neighbour comes rushing over last night to inform me that their two year old daughter had somehow locked herself in the bedroom and was in a distressed state--- well one would think that after trying to get her out, by talking calmly to her to undo the ‘locking’ in order to get out and that attempt failing miserably, one would start to think of the cat experience. If they would come for a cat, then one would assume that a child would be pretty damn high in their priorities.
Well, no--- the 111 call fell on deaf ears. The controller was quite insistent that the solution lay with the upset parents and neighbours. Minutes passed while we considered our options. We even tried to bash the door open, but no luck. We pocked, twisted and cajoled the lock, but no--- deadlocks are a stupid device for a bedroom. The previous tenants must have had some ruling about ‘privacy.’ Understandable maybe, but the ramifications for a two year old are quite serious.
I was concerned that the child was going to really start panicking and I did my best to calm the parents so that there would not be any transferring of their helplessness. Eventually they found a locksmith to come and let the girl out and I made sure that they did not blame or punish her. All ended well but one must be left with the question--- Hey you can come for a cat, but not for a child---? Get your bloody priorities right, call centre! I hope they are actually in NZ.