During the summer of 2011, South Wales Fire and Rescue Service (SWFRS) 'went public' to catch out hoax callers as part of the hard hitting 'blood on your hands? Every second counts' campaign.
Statistics show that the number of hoax calls made to SWFRS during the first six weeks of the campaign reduced by over 20%, compared to the same period as last year.
In a joint statement Andy Marles, Chief Fire Officer, SWFRS, and the Chairman, South Wales Fire and Rescue Authority, Cllr Anthony Ernest stated: 'This is another excellent example of the service successfully creating and implementing and innovative campaign to increase public safety across South Wales.
'Our highly trained firefighters and control room operators are here for the public in an emergency. However, people that make hoax calls tie up valuable time and skills that could be used elsewhere at real emergencies, where real lives may be at risk.
'What surprises many people is that adults are guilty of making these calls, it is not just children 'messing about' in phone boxes. Our control staff will challenge any callers who may seem suspicious, but some of these calls are indistinguishable as fake which means we send firefighters to an incident which doesn't exist.
'Making a call of this kind is a criminal offence and we have teamed up with Crimestoppers to urge anyone who knows any of the callers in the examples on our website to call them and report their information'.
Every year SWFRS attends nearly 600 hoax calls. The shocking fact is that a number of these 999 calls are made by adults. However, the number of hoax calls being made to the fire and rescue service also increases during the summer holiday period, indicating that many of these calls are still being made by school children.
From January 1st 2010-31st December 2010 SWFRS took 2,151 hoax calls, 420 of these were challenged by control staff and did not result in attendance by fire crews, 1,193 were abandoned calls. However, of the 538 hoax calls which did result in an attendance by the fire and rescue service 159 (30%) were made during the summer holiday period.
Since January 1st 2011 SWFRS has taken 1,225 hoax calls, 334 of these were challenged by control staff and did not result in attendance by fire crews, 617 were abandoned calls. However, of the 274 hoax calls which did result in an attendance by the fire and rescue service 83 (29%) were made during the summer holiday period.
As part of its 'Blood on your hands' campaign, SWFRS put actual hoax calls made to the service onto the campaign website and updated these every couple of weeks.
For more information visit: www.bloodonyourhands.co.uk
Posted November 1st, 2011 at 0905 by Andrew. Comment by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org