News : Crank Calls Put Lives At Risk, NIEM Says
Bangkok, Thailand, Dec 24, 2015 -- The National Institute for Emergency Medicine (NIEM) is urging people not to make hoax, prank or unnecessary calls to its emergency hotline.
"The hotline is for saving lives. Even if it's free, [people] shouldn't abuse it because it will prevent officials from doing their jobs and put the lives of those who need emergency help at risk, especially during the New Year period," NIEM chief Anucha Setthasathien said yesterday.
The 1669 emergency number is manned by NIEM workers who contact hospital operators to provide ambulances and aid for patients.
In many cases, NIEM workers will instruct callers about lifesaving techniques that can be performed on patients if necessary while waiting for an ambulance to arrive, he said.
Many callers have complained about not getting through to the call centre because lines are always abusy.
The NIEM says it receives more than 10,000 hoax and prank calls -- many of them from teenagers and children -- in the Greater Bangkok area each month.
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This shows many people are unaware of how vital the hotline is for lifesaving purposes, Dr Anucha said.
Hoax calls and harrassing operators can result in someone losing their life unnecessarily because people making genuine calls cannot get through, he said.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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