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Fire hoax calls in Lancashire down - but still cost lives
THE number of hoax calls to Lancashire Fire and Rescue service has steadily declined during the past four years, following deliberate action taken by the service to tackle the problem.
Since 2009 Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service received 5,484 malicious hoax calls, but the numbers continue to drop year-on-year. The service has been working with mobile phone providers to track down the culprits of hoax calls and block their numbers, and last year across the service there were 899 calls – considerably less than the 1,530 prank calls in 2009.
In Blackburn this year the fire service received 20 hoax calls, down on 33 last year, and 164 10 years ago. In Darwen this year only three hoax calls have been received, down from 22 in 2003, and Hyndburn has also seen a drop – this year’s 10 calls is down on 16 last year, and 65 in 2003.
The situation is similar in Burnley, where 11 hoax calls have been received, down from 27 last year and 117 10 years ago. In Clitheroe firefighters have only received one hoax call this year, whereas eight were received in 2003.
Richard Edney, from Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Fire engines and crews cannot be in two places at one time and hoax calls can, and do, cost lives.
“In 1996, a five-year-old from Blackpool died in his home when fire engines were sent on a hoax call just when he needed them. It’s beyond belief that even with such tragic evidence as this there are still people who are prepared to put someone else’s life on the line.”
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