PRANK CALLS DIVERT EMERGENCY MEDICAL RESPONSE SERVICES
The MVA Fund appeals to the public to desist from making prank calls to its toll-free number. In the bid to maximise its emergency response interventions, the Fund initiated its toll-free number-081 9682 for the public to report motor vehicle crashes when they occur.
This will ensure that the injured receive the prompt medical assistance they need. The Fund’s Call Centre is manned by a team of qualified paramedics who coordinates the national dispatching of appropriate emergency services to crash scenes in order to ensure that early medical intervention is activated. The Fund’s efforts of trying to save lives are however impacted by prank calls made to the Call Centre by the public which mostly delay emergency services to crash scenes. During the past two years (2016 and 2017) the Call Centre recorded over 4 000 emergency calls of which 198 were hoax calls or calls reporting other matters such as assault, robbery and general medical emergencies. The ratio of hoax calls to legitimate calls for the period under review is very trivial (5%), but the resources spent on dispatching emergency services to fictitious crash scenes negatively affect the Fund’s efforts on enhancing emergency medical response services as provided for in the MVA Fund Act 10. 2007 and the Decade of Action For Road Safety 2011-2020. Moreover, these calls further endanger the lives of those that are in genuine need by diverting vital services to where it is not needed as well as clogging the system with unnecessary calls.
The Fund, therefore, urges the public to refrain from abusing its toll-free number as this careless act can be disastrous to those who are in need. The Fund further reminds the public to report all motor-vehicle crashes to the MVA Fund Accident Response Number 081 9682, as doing so can save a life.