Yorkshire Ambulance Service flooded with more than 1,300 hoax 999 calls
Yorkshire Ambulance Service was flooded with more than 1,300 hoax 999 calls last year, new data shows.
A freedom of information request submitted by the local democracy reporting service shows the shocking number of hoax calls the ambulance service has had to spend time dealing with.
The national average cost of responding to one 999 call is £69 – meaning pranksters wasted almost £90,000 of the ambulance service’s precious resources in 2020, dealing with 1,323 calls.
Although the number has fallen slightly in recent years – 1,676 such calls were made in 2019 and 1,988 in 2018.
So far in 2021, 701 hoax calls have been made.
The time that the ambulance service spends dealing with these calls can mean an agonising wait for some – in June, a 19-year-old had to wait for an ambulance for seven hours after he dislocated his knee during a football game in Sheffield.
In July, the Yorkshire Ambulance Service declared a major incident, urging residents to only call in “a serious or life-threatening emergency”
Andy Pippin, Head of A&E Operations (South Yorkshire) at Yorkshire Ambulance Service NHS Trust, said: “Misuse of the 999 system is extremely irresponsible. Hoax calls can put lives in danger as they divert our ambulances, which can be a lifeline in a medical emergency, away from those who are in genuine need of time-critical medical help.”