Harwich ambulance emergency mannequin was 'dummy head'

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A beauty therapist has told how a shop move sparked a 999 drama when a dummy head was mistaken for a dead woman.

Air and land ambulances were sent to Milton Road in Harwich at 07:40 GMT on Tuesday after a cleaner reported what he thought was a woman not breathing.

But the 'woman' was in fact a training head which was on top of clothing and other items in a car.

Jess Debenham, who was opening her store on Tuesday, said: "Everyone has found it pretty funny."

The head belonged to her friend who was helping her set up shop inside a hair salon in High Street.

"It was my first day here and we were unloading into the shop," said Ms Debenham. "The dummy head was left in the car along with other stuff such as coats."

The car was parked in a dimly lit underground car park so could easily have been mistaken for a real person, she said.

Ambulance spokesman Gary Sanderson said he had not encountered a similar incident in his 27 years of service.

But he added that the cleaner did the right thing in raising the alarm.

A spokesman for the council said it checked on the welfare of the man and "although he was quite shaken by the whole incident he was able to carry on his shift".

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