Hoax calls kill, warns Ambos
TRIPLE-0 hoax calls are rare in the Clarence Valley but they contributed to the 184 recorded by the NSW Ambulance Service in northern NSW last year.
Just last week Grafton paramedics responded to a hoax call made by a group of kids from a public phone box in the local area.
Although the young voices full of laughter had paramedics suspicious, they were obligated to respond to the hoax, which could have been potentially deadly to someone else who was genuinely in need of help.
Tim Bestwick, a paramedic for more than 20 years, has experienced numerous hoax calls.
“Hoax calls can hold up ambulances from true emergency calls and put other people at risk,” he said.
The Ambulance Service of NSW responds to an emergency call every 28 seconds across the State.
Sadly, ambulance resources and time are wasted in hoax calls which could risk the life of a patient in need of urgent attention.
“People need to remember that the Ambulance Service has the technology to find the specific location that the call was made from and they generally get caught,” Mr Bestwick said yesterday.
“It is important that parents sit down with their children and explain the importance of a Triple-0 call so they know what to do in case of a real emergency and understand they can be prosecuted for making hoax calls.”
A NSW Ambulance Service spokesperson said that unfortunately many of the hoax calls to Triple-0 occur on weekday afternoons and on school holidays. More education was needed to help children understand the use and value of the service.
Offenders risk a public nuisance charge.