Paramedics took a man who posed as a stroke victim to hospital only for him to leap up and thank them for the free lift, it has emerged.
The North West Ambulance Service lashed out at the man for wasting valuable time and resources.
Describing the incident on Twitter, they revealed that they responded to a call by the would-be patient who claimed to have lost "sensation" in his legs.
Fearing he may have a critical circulation problem or have suffered a stroke he was rushed to the unnamed hospital by medics.
But on arrival, he walked out beaming and admitted he was fine and just wanted a free lift to visit a friend on one of the wards.
The public expressed horror at his actions, suggesting that he should be named and shamed and that the police should have been called.
One Twitter user wrote: “That little stunt could ultimately have cost someone a life.”
Shaun Gerrard, an emergency medical technician with NWAS, described the callout in a message that was shared by the official NWAS account.
He wrote: "A patient rang for an ambulance last night as he had reduced sensation in his legs and mobility was poor.
"We took him to hospital for him to then get up and walk off on arrival.
"He admitted he faked the whole lot just to get a lift to hospital to see his friend!"
The service has said this is what it has to deal with "day in day out" and that the police had not been involved as there was no law against wasting ambulance time.
Call handlers for the service answer upwards of 50 calls during their 12-hour shifts, many of which relate to serious and life-threatening emergencies.
Yesterday (Thurs), the NWAS urged members of the public to only call 999 if there's a genuine emergency.
The service recently revealed that one caller dialled 999 to request shopping and a shower.
Last year, the NWAS marked the 80th anniversary of the 999 emergency number by releasing audio of some of the more bizarre calls taken.
These include a man who tries to order an ambulance in advance, saying he "might need it later," another man who said he "just wanted to go home" and a woman whose dog has been run over.
Ged Blezard, director of operations at NWAS, said: "Our call centre staff work very hard and play a vital role in the care of our patients.
"There are people alive today because of their actions."