Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Hoax callers endanger life and drain health service

19 June, 2012 - by Sue Ramsey

 Sinn Féin MLA Sue Ramsey, who is also the chair of the Health Committee is alarmed at the staggering cost of hoax calls being made to the ambulance and fire services.

 Speaking today Ms Ramsey said:

 “The fact that hoax calls to the ambulance and fire services reaches £3m pounds a year is staggering. This is diverting much needed resources away from the health service.

 “The cost however goes further than financial terms. By directing fire and ambulance services to hoax call outs it is endangering peoples lives. Obviously if an ambulance or fire crew is attending one of these calls they are not available to deal with real emergencies. This would have an even greater impact in rural areas.

 “The dark side of it is that 26,000 calls are made over the past 3 years clearly indicating that for some obscene reason too many people think that this is acceptable behaviour.

 “Those behind these calls must stop. I understand that the emergency services do deliver awareness courses to our schools however I would appeal for such information to be made available now in news papers, on TV and online to raise awareness of this issue. I would be certain in the belief that such calls are not carried out by any one age group."

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