A CASTLEDERG man has hit out at those wasting valuable time and resources after prank callers requested an ambulance be dispatched to his home on two occasions in the space of 24 hours.
It has also emerged that a series of prank calls have been made to emergency services and ambulances directing them to addresses in Castlederg.
One local man who is in a wheelchair said an ambulance arrived at his home twice in the space of 24 hours and caused him severe distress.
The man who wished not to be named said, “The first ambulance arrived last Thursday around 10.45pm and the paramedics asked if I ordered one and if I was okay. The next day, around 4pm another ambulance arrived at my home again. I told them I hadn’t ordered an ambulance and they were confused.
“It is not a nice thing to be happening, and these kind of prank calls waste vital services for those in need. There has been a few times in the past when I needed an ambulance and I have had to wait hours before one came to the house. These people are busy and this is not acceptable.”
Sinn Féin councillor Ruairí McHugh has appealed to whoever is behind such calls to stop making them. “I have been contacted about this disturbing turn of events whereby, as a result of prank calls, ambulances have been dispatched to homes in Castlederg and when they arrive the occupants know nothing about it. Every prank call is reckless.
“They are placing more pressure on an already stretched service and are running the risk of ambulance crews being diverted away from genuine calls and in turn literally putting peoples’ lives in danger.”
The Northern Ireland Ambulance Service say those making prank calls are a wasting precious time, resources and put lives at risk.
“Hoax calls are time-wasting for front line and control staff that have to investigate the calls, and make it dangerous for the public as a whole. When an ambulance is away from your local ambulance station responding to a hoax call, you may have a real life emergency to deal with, with no ambulances available to help you. In all emergency situations, time is vital, and people’s lives could be put in danger because of a hoax call.”