Tipperary Fine Gael TD and Junior Minister in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Tom Hayes, has said the true scale of the cost of hoax calls to our fire brigades services becomes clear when consideration is given to the fact that between 2007-2011 there were 1,141 false alarm calls made in Tipperary.
Nationally this figure is over 32,000 false alarm calls made.
While South and North Tipperary county councils have different charging structures which make it difficult to get a precise figure, South Tipperary County Council has indicated to Minister of State Hayes that it charges €450 per hour per emergency response for a false alarm, outlining the drain on resources that hoax calls are having.
The malicious intent call figures were obtained by way of a PQ response from the Minister for the Environment, Community and Local Government, Phil Hogan TD.
“Figures released indicate that between 2007-2011, the number of false alarm calls made to the emergency fire services across the country reached a staggering nationally 32,774. These calls are broken down by malicious and good intent, with the number of malicious intent calls totalling 9,149 over that period. In Tipperary, there were a staggering 347 malicious hoax calls made to the fire services
This means that, at a conservative estimate, the cost of these stunts by pranksters reaches thousands of Euro in Tipperary over the last 5 years.
“These figures come on the back of figures recently revealed on the number of hoax calls being made to the ambulance and coast guard services which are also hindering these emergency response teams from getting on with the job of saving the lives of those who are in real difficulty.
“I have called for penalties to be put in place for repeat offenders of this damaging and dangerous practice which would act as a deterrent for future shenanigans and allow the emergency services to get on with the challenging job of saving lives.”