Monday, August 07, 2006

Another Hoax

I suppose I've been quite lucky in that in the three years that I've worked for the London Ambulance Service, I've only ever been to two hoaxes. Both were in the last 10 months.

The first was just after I started this blog.

The second was a couple of weeks ago. We'd called in at our main ambulance station to collect some urgently required stores for our station, and as I was sorting out the paperwork for it, Graham hurried in from the ambulance.

"We've got someone who's been stabbed several times in the chest," he told me.
"Ok, I've just got to sign this and I'm done."

I scribbled my signature on the paper, grabbed the equipment and hurried to the ambulance. I glanced at the address to see where we were going to and paused. The address rang an alarm bell in the back of my mind.
"I know this address from somewhere, but I can't remember why. Have control asked the police to attend?"
In answer, the MDT in the cab rang with a message to say that police had been assigned.

I put my foot down. We didn't know the extent of the injuries, and with a stabbing in the chest, there was the possibility of damage to the lungs and/or heart. Control asked us to report for HEMS on arrival.

As we turned into the road, the alarm bell rang loud and proud in my mind, and I now knew why.

"I came to a hoax here a few months ago before I started working on the car," I told Graham, "I'm sure it's the exact same address too."

As we rounded the bend, sure enough, there were the police. And the fire brigade.

"Why have the fire brigade been sent?" wondered Graham. The answer soon came when a police officer walked up to the window.
"Are you here for the stabbing?" he asked.
"It's a hoax. Sorry guys."
"No problem - it's not your fault. Why are the fire boys here?"
"They got a call to say there was a fire at the same address. Also a hoax."

So well done to the idiot that called. You managed to waste the time of all three emergency services. May you rest safe in the knowledge that your foolish actions could well have prevented an ambulance getting to a real life-threatening call, a fire engine from attending a persons reported fire, and the police helping someone being assaulted/robbed etc.

There's only one name that suits you, and I apologise to any reader who's offended - unless it was you.



Blogger Angelfire said...

I've been a silent reader for some time, although this entry makes me want to comment.

I agree wholeheartedly with your assessment of the idiot who would waste the time of the emergency services. It makes me wonder what goes through the minds of these morons.

You know I bet one of these days a hoaxer will whine and complain that an ambulance / fire engine / police car wasn't availible for his true emergency when off catering to another hoaxer... and you'll get bad press... it's not fair that these people can get away with it...

9:14 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with above, sooner that someone gets a suitable custodial sentence for hoax calls the better. I wont hold my breath, the courts don't even do anything near what they should with assaults against those responding to emergencies.

Hope the police caught those responsible.

9:59 pm  
Blogger Elizabeth said...

Another regular reader de-lurking :-)

I too think that hoaxers should get a mandatory jail sentence.

Of all the damn-fool stupid things that someone can do - it really does beggar belief.

7:42 am  
Blogger caramaena said...

I also hope they catch the wanker.

7:49 am  
Blogger DogsBody said...

Did the call come from a mobile? I had a hoax call the other night to say that 3 blokes were setting fire to a building that had gas cylinders inside - asked control to get fire running and to alert ambulance and off we went on blues - to dicover it was a hoax, so called up control and was told it came from a mobile - tried to ring it back, male voice answers then hangs up when told who it is, try again, same thing happens so sergeant got onto control and got the mobile frazzled - they won't be making any hoaxes anytime soon!

12:24 pm  
Blogger Kate said...

Hi, I'm another silent reader, but I had to comment to say I agree with you - anyone who makes a hoax call is a wanker.

There was a spate of this in an area I lived in years ago - a fire engine turned up at my house one night while I as at work - and this all happened around Bonfire night when I'm sure the fire service have enough to do. As far as I know the idiot was never caught, but we were told that even if they had been the sentence would have been fairly light. It is wrong that someone can endanger the lives of others and pretty much get away with it.

1:10 pm  
Anonymous mr.Anonymous2 said...

I'd like to meet that person in a dark alley...

prank calling is plain stupid, and wanker is to nice a word to decribe the people who do it!

3:30 pm  
Blogger Steve said...


I don't know about this hoax, but the first one came from a phone box at the nearby train station.

I can only guess that this was the same.

4:47 pm  
Anonymous seb said...

Also a silent reader for quite a while, youre bang on of course calling them wankers, they could quite easily have put someone else's life in danger.

6:30 pm  
Blogger Spike said...

The only consolation to be gained is to know people this stupid will end up on Darwin Awards.

8:18 am  
Anonymous Clozzer said...

All three Emergency Services?

The poor coast guard always gets forgotten!

It reminds me of when the RAC called themselves the 4th emergency service, they don't seem to do that anymore.

I feel bad now that my first comment is this! Sorry! I love the blog BTW

1:08 pm  
Anonymous barefootruby said...

er, sorry to be a pedant, clozzer, but it was the AA not the RAC.

But I agree with the comments about hoax calls. Anyone caught should be sent to prison, and then banned from using a telephone for at least five years.

I was working on a computer system in a Fire control room once - they had had eight (yes eight!) hoax calls in one night (I think it may have been New Year)

8:09 am  
Blogger rob said...

Someone in our communications area told me they get a big spike in hoaxes on weekends and school holidays. Probably kids. Or, it could be the parents... trying to entertain the kids :)

1:23 am  

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