We all know that it can be hard to keep your children entertained and occupied during the extended epic 6-week summer holidays.
Even those of you who do not have children will probably remember how hard it was to try and keep yourself entertained when on the summer school holidays.
However, it would seem that some children have taken to prank calling 999 in order to keep themselves ‘entertained’ whilst on the summer break, but in doing so, they end up risking people’s lives.
South West Ambulance Service released a statement about the issue saying on their website saying:
‘Paramedics from South Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) are reminding parents to keep an eye on their mobile phones during the school holidays after the service has had a number of unnecessary 999 prank calls from children.
‘The 999 control hubs in the South West have received a number of hoax calls that have resulted in vital emergency resources being sent to peoples’ houses only to find no one there when they arrive.
‘When they rang the caller back they were met with children laughing.
‘This wasted journey meant that the crew were unable to attend genuine patients in need of care. (*NB: Example of a hoax call available)
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‘All emergency calls are recorded and can be traced. SWASFT will prosecute offenders if necessary. Last year, in 2017, 774 hoax calls were made to the ambulance service which distracted paramedics from attending 91 real emergencies.
‘South Western Ambulance Service Chief Executive, Ken Wenman says, “Making hoax calls can put lives at risk.
“We strongly encourage parents to impress upon their children the importance of only dialing 999 in a genuine emergency situation.
“It is vital that people understand and appreciate the consequences associated with making hoax calls. We work with the police and other partners to seek the prosecution of people who abuse the 999 system.”
‘Examples of when to call 999 include choking, chest pain, stroke, serious blood loss and unconsciousness. Using 999 correctly helps our paramedic crews to reach those patients most in need of medical attention.
‘Alternative healthcare options for less serious conditions include; visiting your local pharmacy, visiting a minor injuries unit or NHS walk-in centre, or calling NHS111’
It is bad enough that the emergency services have to cope with adults making unnecessary 999 calls, let alone having to also deal with children making prank 999 calls!
When you sign up to serve in an Emergency Operations Centre, you do so because you want to help save lives – not to deal with needless and prank 999 calls.
Anyone who has had to call 999, only to be put on hold whilst waiting for help in a genuine emergency, will no-doubt confirm how stressful such a situation can be.
Not only do prank 999 calls risk lives, they also clog up the 999 system and in some cases can lead to ‘pranksters’ getting arrested.
Below is a video that was shared by South West Ambulance Service via their YouTube channel, that has some audio recordings of prank 999 calls being made to South West Ambulance Service by some kids.
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