Cork City Fire Brigade has warned against hoax calls made to emergency services that “cost lives”.
Acting Third Officer, Gerard Ryan, said that although hoax calls are not as high as previously, Anglesea Street Fire Department does receive them “from time to time”.
He said that making a hoax call can endanger the life of someone who is really in need of their resources.
He said that the city’s stations in Anglesea, Ballincollig and Ballyvolane are “strategically placed for a reason”.
“If we get torn away to the other end of the city or to the outskirts of the city and we get a call, our resources then have to travel twice as far back the other way.
“False alarms can cost lives. It could be that very one time that you’re ringing in a hoax call is when we’re needed in another part of the city. As we say, time is critical. If we’re six or seven minutes out in the wrong direction, that’s six or seven minutes back before we ever get on the journey to wherever we’re needed. Sometimes it’s critical.
“Hoax calls cost lives. I would say, no matter what it is, ring us, once it’s not a hoax call.
He said that the current situation with the spread of Covid-19 could mean that “these things will kick off again” due to the boredom of isolation.
“Unfortunately. with what’s going on and kids being bored, these things will kick off again. They get a kick out of these things. We don’t highlight it as much because sometimes if you highlight it, you end up getting more of them,” he said.
His comments come after Cork County Fire Service responded to two hoax calls over the weekend.
The first call, made on Thursday night last, turned out to be a hoax call after members of the Carrigaline unit responded.
The second call was made on Sunday and involved the same address in Carrigaline.
The National Ambulance Service (NAS) confirmed following a review of its system that two hoax calls were made in the Carrigaline area “in the last 10 days”.
In a statement, the NAS said: “The NAS would like to highlight that hoax calls leave people’s lives at risk and would appeal to everyone in communities around the country not to misuse NAS resources in any way.”