The Northern Ireland Fire and Rescue Service (NIFRS) has issued a fresh reminder of the serious consequences of making hoax emergency calls ahead of April Fools’ Day, April 1.
NIFRS has underlined that the real ‘fools’ are those making hoax emergency calls.
Statistics show that while the number of hoax calls that are being responded to have been falling in recent years, they do peak in school holidays, especially around Easter, which falls this weekend.
Attacks on firefighters also see a similar trend.
Mark Smyth, Group Commander, NIFRS, explained that young people should think about the fact that it could be their friend or family that needs help, while fire crews are responding to what turns out to be a hoax call. “We would ask young people to act responsibly and not to make hoax 999 calls as it wastes valuable time with resources being deflected away from real incidents.
“As far as attacks on our crews go, we enjoy great support from the vast majority of the local community but it only takes a small minority to cause the damage. would appeal to young people not to attack our firefighters who are only out doing their job.
“Seconds count in an emergency and such attacks can delay attendance at a real emergency when it could be you or one of your relatives that needs our help.
“I want young people to enjoy their Easter break but to be aware of the stark reality of their actions should they choose to make hoax calls or attack our firefighters. Remember, we may be the target but it’s the hoax callers who are the ‘fools’ and their local community who are the victims,” he said.