Ancient Rome had no emergency services as we know them. If there was a problem, a passerby would handle it or go and call one of the vigiles. So when, Vesuvius erupted, there was no one locally to help. Pliny the Elder noticed he problem and sent ships to try and rescue people (he was admiral of the fleet based across the bay) but only a few of the ships were able to make it into port to rescue people as the waters were too rough.

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