skip to content

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Hoax CallsTo Fire Service Made From Stafford Phone Box

22/08/2017

Firefighters are shocked to have been sent to a garage fire in Highfields, Stafford on Sunday night only to arrive and find that it was a hoax call.

Engines from Stafford and Gnosall along with a fire officer were sent to the reported incident on West Way Green, Highfields on Sunday night. They were sent following an emergency call made from a phone box on Swinburne Close, Highfields at approximately 9.09pm. The call followed an earlier call made at 8.55pm.

Prevent Manager Carmel Warren who has previously worked as a control room operator dealing with emergency calls said: “We are shocked that this has happened, whoever is responsible clearly doesn’t realise that when we are attending one incident it means we’re not the available to attend other emergencies, where people’s lives could be in danger.

This call is one of 11 hoax calls made from the phone box to the fire service since December last year. Some of the callers have hung up once answered, some have hung up once they have been challenged by control operators, however on four occasions fire engines have been sent to reported emergencies.

Prevent Manager Carmel Warren who has previously worked as a control room operator dealing with emergency calls said: “We are shocked that this has happened, whoever is responsible clearly doesn’t realise that when we are attending one incident it means we’re not the available to attend other emergencies, where people’s lives could be in danger.

“We believe that this particular call was made by a young person and so we encourage parents to speak to their children about the seriousness of hoax calls – how would they feel if they knew their hoax call had delayed the fire service response to an emergency involving a member of their own family? We are currently running our Flames Aren’t Games Campaign which is aimed at stopping young people from starting small fires, however the same message also applies to hoax calls – they shouldn’t be treated as games.

“We’d urge anyone who has any information about the hoax calls or who sees suspicious activity around the phone box on Swinburne Close, Highfields – such as young people gathering around the phone box and then running away, to contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.”