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Dublin: 23 °C Tuesday 2 June, 2020

'A despicable act': About five people a week make hoax calls to Dublin Fire Brigade

The problem is getting worse.

Firemen from Dublin fire brigade fight a fire in a property on Fitzgibbon Lane in Dublin.
Firemen from Dublin fire brigade fight a fire in a property on Fitzgibbon Lane in Dublin.
Image: Sam boal/

THERE WERE 242 malicious phone calls made to Dublin Fire Brigade stations last year according to the county-wide emergency service.

That number means that fire services had to deal with an average of nearly five fake calls per week.

The figures were released to Dublin City Council’s emergency management council following a question by Sinn Féin councillor Noeleen Reilly, and showed that fake calls to fire services have been increasing every year for the last three years.

Malicious calls

In 2014, 243 fake calls were made to Dublin Fire Brigade while 242 were made in 2013.

The Dublin fire station that dealt with the most malicious calls last year was Tallaght Fire Station.

Station D7 in Tallaght received 70 calls last year that turned out to be fake.

While that number way exceeds the station with the second highest, 27 in Dolphin’s Barn, this is partly to do with the number of people Tallaght station caters for.

Dublin Fire Brigade also collates the number of calls that were made to them in good faith but ultimately turned out to be false alarms. Tallaght also tops that list with 135 calls last year that were well-intentioned but turned out to be false alarms.

That number also increased steadily over the last three years, from 776 in 2013 to a total of 1,062 last year.

The only fire station that received no malicious calls last year was in Skerries.

PastedImage-77465 False alarms (FAGI) and fake calls (MFA) made to Dublin Fire Brigade last year. Source: DFB

People who make fake calls are liable for prosecution, with Cllr Reilly saying that the hoaxes can lead to serious consequences as resources are diverted from genuine emergencies.

“I think it is a despicable act by anyone to ring a service under false pretences that exists to save the lives of Dubliners,” the councillor says.

Dublin Fire Brigade is already stretched to the max due to a severe lack of funding. They have a shortage of staff and ambulances. So for anyone to think it is a laugh to put them under further pressure is not acceptable.

Read: “He was using his shoe as a phone”: Friday night on patrol with a Dublin ambulance crew >

Read: Dublin Fire Brigade dealt with this multi-vehicle fire last night >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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