Hoax 999 calls could have cost Lincolnshire firefighters up to 180 hours in delays in reaching emergencies between April and December last year, the service’s chiefs have revealed.
Although the number of malicious or hoax calls has been reducing year on year, Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue witness an increase in prank calls around school holidays.
Figures show Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue attended 45 hoax calls from April last year to December, with another 74 malicious calls reported which were not attended.
Each of the bogus call-outs can take a fire crew out of action for up to an hour, which can lead to a shortage of firefighters when there is a real emergency, explains Community Fire Safety manager Shona Wright.
With half term upon us, she says: “It is very important that parents are aware of where their children are and what they are up to during the school holidays. It is a sad but true fact that we see a spike in these kind of hoax calls when schools break up.
“I think members of the public assume this kind of thing doesn’t happen anymore, but unfortunately it does.
“The result of their actions can be tragic and far-reaching, with teams attending bogus calls often delayed in reaching a genuine emergency. Every time a Lincolnshire Fire and Rescue crew is called out on a hoax, it puts lives at risk.”