Shropshire Star

Anger as air ambulance is hit with two hoax call-outs in one shift

The region's air ambulance was hit by two malicious hoax calls in one shift, the lifesaving service has revealed.

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Bosses at the Midlands Air Ambulance service said that the incidents were "very rare" – let alone two in one day.

They added that dispatching the service's helicopter costs a significant amount of money – as well as potentially denying the service to other people who need it.

The incidents took place on Monday.

Sarah Folley, critical care paramedic for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, who was on shift and tasked to both hoax calls, said: "We rapidly responded to two false call outs made in two different areas – one in Birmingham and a second in Stoke-on-Trent.

"Hoax calls to the ambulance service that lead to our pre-hospital emergency service being dispatched are very rare, so it is extremely saddening to receive two hoax calls during one shift.

"We want to make sure those making these calls are aware of the dangers that providing false and malicious information to emergency services can pose to the public.”

The Midlands Air Ambulance was hit by two hoax calls in one shift this week

Ian Jones, clinical operations director for Midlands Air Ambulance Charity, said false callouts were a waste of money donated by the public to the charity.

He said: "Our pre-hospital emergency service’s daily missions are kindly funded by generous donations made by the public.

"To see that money, go to waste as crews attend a scene that does not have a patient after being provided with false information is disheartening.

"Each air ambulance mission costs our charity £2,950 on average, that is money, fuel, and time – resources which should be used on patients in critical need who actually need our advanced medical help.

"We urge everyone to think about how their actions could affect others before making false and malicious calls."