The Guyana Fire and Rescue Service has been plagued with prank calls numerous warnings and measures taken to reduce them, and is now threatening to take perpetrators to the police.
Leading Fireman at the Guyana Fire Service Marlon Sealey, attached to the Onverwagt Fire Station, says prank calls from Region Five residents continue to be a challenge.
“I’m urging you, the residents of Region number Five to desist from the practice of making prank calls to the Guyana Fire Service.”
The Fire Service further stated that they do not take these offenses lightly and is urging those responsible to stop.
Following this final warning, perpetrators will be exposed on Facebook, and their information will be handed over to the police.
In April this year, the Fire Service noticed a spike in prank calls coming out of the Blairmont, Region 5 area.
According to reports from the Onverwagt Fire Station, perpetrators had been making calls around a specific time during the day and giving false information regarding fires in the area.
Prank calls are especially dangerous because they result in wasting the valuable time of the fire fighters as well as wasting resources.
Furthermore, prank calls hinder firefighters from effectively doing their jobs and responding to actual fires that threaten a loss of life and/or property.
Citizens are therefore urged to desist from making prank calls and false reports.
Actions taken earlier this year in light of this issue include several warnings and a donation of four (4) phones from the Guyana Telephone and Telegraph Company equipped with caller ID.
The cordless phones are equipped with recorders as well which will assist in the reduction of prank calls and identifying the perpetrators.
The initiative aims to modernise the calling and reporting infrastructure within the GFS as well as improve the capacity of the Fire Service to provide timely responses to fire reports.
GTT has also been providing the Fire Service with a monthly report of all inbound calls to the 912 line to help track prank callers.
Prank calling an emergency service is a serious offense under the laws of Guyana.
The Guyana Fire Service is mandated to respond to all fire reports and is therefore appealing to citizens to avoid making prank calls which can only hamper the work of the Fire Service.