WOULD you dial 999 to report your sofa getting wedged in a door? Or how about to report chickens running down the road? Your answer is hopefully no! When it comes to phoning your local fire and rescue service using 999 it should be because of an emergency, when you really do need help.
But Hertfordshire County Council’s Fire and Rescue Service has revealed that some of the calls it receives are not quite as serious as others.
It received nearly 22,000 emergency calls in 2015, many of them to situations where lives and property were at risk. But while residents of Herfordshire can rest assured that firefighters are on duty 24/7, 365 days a year, to answer calls for assistance, some people think that they are there to solve any problem, however bizarre.
Herfordshire County Council says one caller wanted to report a space ship on fire, while another called to report that there were chickens running down the road. Another person was concerned that his favourite ‘mix tape’ was on fire, while another explained that a sofa had been delivered and had got wedged in the door.
The council said: “A toy helicopter stuck in a tree is not really a job for the emergency services nor is removing a dead rat from the living room floor, fixing a bicycle puncture or looking for lost spectacles.”
Roy Wilsher, Chief Fire Officer, said: “This is a bit of fun but there is a serious message behind it. Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue, alongside colleagues in the police and ambulance service, is here to help but we are asking people not to call 999 unless it’s a real emergency. Such calls are a waste of time and are potentially blocking calls from people in genuine danger.
WOULD you dial 999 to report your sofa getting wedged in a door? Or how about to report chickens running down the road?
“Firefighters across the county are dedicated to protecting the lives and property of the people of Hertfordshire. Last year they attended 2,439 fires and nearly 500 road traffic collisions as well as many other serious and life-threatening situations.
“Let’s not make things more difficult for them with nonsense or hoax calls.”
For more information and fire safety advice, visit Firesafe.org