07 November 2016
Firefighters from Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service have attended 3,000 false alarm calls in the last year, 47 per cent of the total incidents attended by crews.
The region's fire authority chief says he is at a loss what to do, and that "people's lives are being put at risk" because of it, calling the incidents "soul destroying", reports the Evesham Journal.
In 2015/16 the fire service went to 6,459 incidents, 347 more than the previous financial year.
Fresh suggestions are being made that fire control call handlers may have to interrogate more people when they ring in - especially with the bonfire period approaching.
Cllr Derek Prodger, the fire authority's chairman, has revealed how talks are taking place today to try and broker a new solution.
"It's very sad and soul destroying for the firefighters, they turn out for what they think is going to be an emergency and often it's a waste of time," he said.
"I feel for our staff, when they come in they prepare themselves so carefully to be on alert, we need to find a way around this.
"I'd urge people to think twice before calling because if it's a false alarm, it could mean a travesty for somebody else if there is a genuine emergency elsewhere.
"We have to come up with an answer."
Most of the false alarms are attributed to faulty alarms due to poor maintenance, accidental activation, pranks, cooking fumes, badly trained workers inside businesses, steam from showers and even insects.