A spokesperson for the Department of Health confirmed today that there are plans to send ice cream vans to certain 999 calls instead of ambulances when there is a shortage suitable paramedics in any given area.

A database of suitable vehicles has already been drawn up, and ministers who are supporting the plans feel that there is already a variety of equipment on board that could be used in a medical emergency.

He said, ‘It is a well known fact that a wide variety of injuries need something cold applied to them in the first instance, so therefore it makes sense to send a mobile store room full of Calippos, Feasts and Screwballs.’

‘For more severe burns, the whole area could be covered in soft serve vanilla, and everyone knows how to perform an improvised tracheotomy with a flake.’

Fred Sorbet is one of the ice cream van owners who has been invited to the trial period, and he told Southend News Network that he has only needed to make a minimal amount of modifications to his vehicle.

He said, ‘I have already had the theme tune from Casualty added to my chime set.’

‘What could be better than a strawberry lace tourniquet?’

‘As soon as the bleeding stops, the patient has a lovely fruity treat to enjoy.’