Sat | Sep 22, 2018

Prank calls hurting Falmouth firefighters

Published:Friday | February 3, 2017 | 12:00 AMLeon Jackson
Roland Walters, Deputy Superintendent of the Falmouth Fire Station

Western Bureau:

Deputy Superintendent Roland Walters of the Falmouth Fire Station issuing a special appeal to persons making prank calls to the fire department to desist from doing so, because it is negatively impacting their capacity to function effectively.

The call comes sharply on the heels of an incident on Monday when, while the department's only fire unit was responding to a bogus call in the hills of southern Trelawny, there was a major accident in Salt Marsh (some 20 miles away from Sawyers in the opposite direction) that required the involvement of the unit.

"We got a call that there was a two-bedroom house on fire in Sawyers, which turned out not to be true," said Walters. "At the same time, that the fire truck was on its way to Sawyers to respond to that call, we got the call about the accident in Salt Marsh."

To compound the situation, the accident at Salt Marsh was quite serious, as it required special equipment used by the fire department to free the driver from one of the vehicles involved in the accident.




"We needed to extricate the driver from the car, and the truck with all the equipment was 45 minutes away," said Walters. "It turned out that the driver in the car had died, but if it was a case that we needed to save lives, we would have only been able to stand by and watch."

In addition to highlighting the problems associated with bogus calls, the Deputy Superintendent said it also brings to the fore the need for a unit to be placed in southern Trelawny, because of the distance from Falmouth.

"This emphasises the need for a unit of some kind to be stationed in South Trelawny and the need to educate the population on the dangers of prank calls," said Walters. "These are matters that require urgent attention."

Superintendent Clive Blair, the commanding officer of the Trelawny police, said the police are also concerned about crank calls to the fire department and said there might be a need to come up with ways to identify persons who are making the calls.