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Wasting Emergency Services Time  
User currently onlineDavid_itl From United Kingdom, joined Jun 2001, 7809 posts, RR: 13
Posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 1349 times:
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Taken from http://www.manchesteronline.co.uk/news/content.cfm?story=268553

NB: All non-UK viewers, for "999" read "911".

999 call-out for broken finger nail

Paramedics answered a 999 call from a woman with a broken finger nail. And the fire service has been asked for advice about a leaky tap.

These are just two of the 375,000 time-wasting 999 calls made in the past year, putting other people's lives in danger.

The fire service, police and ambulance are launching a Think Before You Dial campaign in Bolton, Wigan and Leigh to help to reduce the number of calls that waste their time. If the campaign is successful, it will be extended across Greater Manchester.

The police have been called by someone asking for transport to court. And another caller asked for train times and road directions.

The fire service has been asked about leaks, and if it could help someone who had locked themselves out of their home.

Meanwhile, the ambulance service has been called to someone with an itchy back, period pains and broken finger nails.

Insp Mark Lee, from Greater Manchester police, said: "Last year, 75 per cent of our 999 calls were not real emergencies.

"We are asking people to think before they dial, and, if the situation is not an emergency, then please consider the alternatives."

County Fire Officer Barry Dixon, said: "There is no doubt that people who make malicious calls are putting lives needlessly at risk.

"People should remember that malicious calls can have very serious consequences and a fire engine cannot be in two places at once."

Greater Manchester ambulance service chief cxecutive John Burnside, added: "The most important message we want to get across is that while firefighters, police and paramedics spend their time attending a trivial call out, somebody, somewhere may really need us."

"We would never discourage anyone from dialling 999 for an ambulance in a real emergency, but we would encourage people to use their common sense."

The campaign was launched yesterday at the Reebok Stadium in Bolton and is officially backed by Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

It will target two types of callers - those who put lives at risk by making hoax calls and those who make inappropriate 999 calls without thinking of the consequences.

Anyone caught making a hoax call faces a tough punishment, which could be a steep fine or even a prison sentence.


7 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineEal401 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 1333 times:

Paramedics answered a 999 call from a woman with a broken finger nail.

I know there are some thick women in the North West of England, but Jesus!!!  Smile

I remember whenever my mum broke a fingernail, you'd think the world had ended!

User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 52
Reply 2, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 17 hours ago) and read 1325 times:

One question. Having found out on the 'phone that she only had a broken fingernail, why did they then send an ambulance? Surely she could have been persuaded that it was a less than valuable use of resources.

She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
User currently offlinePilot1113 From United States of America, joined Aug 1999, 2333 posts, RR: 11
Reply 3, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 1312 times:

I know that Verizon, the telephone company for Massachusetts, has proposed a 711 number where these non-emegency calls can be directed.

In the towns where it has been rolled out, 711 has been a phenominal success. I don't remember the stats, but I know that the number of non-emergency calls to 911 was dramatically reduced.

- Neil Harrison

User currently offlineL-188 From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 30408 posts, RR: 57
Reply 4, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 1306 times:

My borther is on the VFD squad back home. He has some good stories.

These are relativly minor.

User currently offline174thfwff From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 5, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 22 hours ago) and read 1303 times:

My department gets these calls too. Everyone hates it, and the call usually has 2 people on the fire truck and they go 10 down the road.

You would not believe some of my stories.

User currently offlineNZ767 From New Zealand, joined Nov 2001, 1620 posts, RR: 1
Reply 6, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1295 times:

Here in NZ, the emergency number is 111; or *555 from a cellphone if you want to report a traffic matter to the Highway Patrol.

Basically, to use 111, there must be "danger to person or property" or the likelihood of such occuring.
Dingbat calls such as the examples above can see the offender being charged for the callout............ a fine for stupidity if you like!
Obviously though, if a dodgy 111 call was made in good faith, then this wouldn't happen.
There was an example here years ago where a well known morals campaigner called 111 when she noticed a group of young teens trying to get into an R18 movie.
Some people obviously need a life!!

Mike (NZWN)  Smile

User currently offlineBanco From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2001, 14752 posts, RR: 52
Reply 7, posted (14 years 2 months 1 week 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1290 times:

Here's a question for you all. In the good/bad old days of analogue exchanges 111 would have been the quickest number to dial, but the US chose 911 and the UK 999. I understand that the reason 111 wasn't chosen was because the exchanges could confuse 1's with 0's if there were lots of them together, hence using a 9 instead.

Presumably, as in NZ, this is no longer an issue as digital exchanges mean that whatever number you use will take the same amount of time. Can anyone verify or deny this?

She's as nervous as a very small nun at a penguin shoot.
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