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NFA counts prank cost

Nasik Swami
Thursday, February 07, 2013

THE National Fire Authority is deeply concerned about the increasing number of malicious or prank calls made to the authority by members of the public.

On Monday afternoon, a caller claimed that a serious accident between a bus and a car had occurred at the Cunningham roundabout.

The prank caller reported that passengers were trapped in the vehicles and required rescue assistance by NFA.

Chief executive officer John O'Connor said a fire brigade from the Suva Fire Station responded to the call only to discover it was a hoax.

"The malicious call resulted in two fire tenders being deployed to the site," Mr O'Connor said, adding that responding to emergency calls was an expensive exercise for the authority.

The false call cost NFA between $2000 and $3000.

"The call came during the rush hour and the road to Nausori was really busy. NFA was putting at risk the life of the firefighters but, more importantly, the lives of the communities which was a serious concern for NFA," Mr O'Connor said.

He said the ability for NFA to respond to other calls could have been affected when attending to such malicious calls.

"NFA is taking such malicious calls seriously and is conducting investigations to try and trace the call before officially reporting the matter to the police for further investigation," Mr O'Connor said.

"We humbly request people to stop making prank calls and support NFA to reduce the number of property fires in the country."