Ambulance service: Over 60K prank calls drown emergency calls
The National Ambulance Service says just nine days after its call centre was opened, it has been kept busy with prank calls than real emergency calls to save lives.
Data from the centre has revealed that over 60,000 prank calls have so far been recorded.
Only 133 actual cases have come to the centre.
The figures mean only 0.2 per cent of calls to the centre is a call to duty.
The data also means on the average, the centre records 6,687 calls daily and 279 every hour.
Only 15 of the numerous calls daily are emergency calls.
This is a major cause of concern to the centre which has warned persons to desist from the prank calls or risk being blocked.
“Prank calls are giving us a very big problem. It is making our work very difficult. Prank callers are just engaging the line to prevent genuine cases from getting to us. Ever since the 112 was launched, within an hour we receive more than 200 prank calls,” Head of Dispatch at the centre, Matilda Nartey told Citi FM.
The centre was opened on January 29, 2020 – the same day President Akufo Addo commission the 307 ambulances with a call on Ghanaians not to abuse the emergency numbers.
According to him, prank calls have the potential of endangering the lives of people in dire need of the ambulance.
But even after the President appeal, it seems some Ghanaians have refused to heed to it.
But the Head of Dispatch at the National Ambulance Service Dispatch Centre, said plans are underway to name and shame persons who engage in the act.
This she said will be done in collaboration with the police.
“Some call just to insult and some even call to demand money. We’ve been writing all the numbers that have been calling for us to give it to the telcos and also to report to the police. If it will be possible, the individuals behind that could be prosecuted,” she noted.
The government needs to educate people about the use of emergency calls and give out warnings to those who make prank calls and make arrest as example in other to deter others. The government should take the campaign to schools, from primary schools to the university.