Hoax calls to air ambulance on the rise with warning it could cost lives
More than a dozen hoax phone calls were made to the Yorkshire Air Ambulance (YAA) last year, the charity has revealed as it warned of the dangers.
The organisation was victim to 14 calls in the last financial year from people wasting time, costing them thousands of pounds as well as valuable time which could be spent saving lives.
The YAA, which is based at Nostell, responds to more than 1,300 incidents a year - an average of almost four every day.
In the last financial year, between April 1, 2020, and March 31 this year, the service responded to 14 hoax calls, and in 2021 so far up to May 10, the charity has responded to 10.
The bogus call-outs were mainly in West Yorkshire (10) and South Yorkshire (four) with October 2020 and January 2021 being the busiest months with three hoax calls each month.
Matt Syrat, clinical operations manager, said:“There is no way of knowing if a 999 call is a hoax when it comes in.
“We have to treat every call as if it is an emergency situation and respond rapidly. When a call comes in there are no significant indicators that it might be a hoax.
“That doesn’t become apparent until emergency responders arrive at the scene to find no emergency.
“There is nothing more frustrating than landing at a scene and establishing that the call was in fact a hoax. Not only has it wasted our time and put lives at risk, but there will always be other emergency services involved too.”