FIREFIGHTERS in Cornwall have urged schoolkids not to misuse the 999 system after receiving three hoax calls in one day.
On December 9, at around 08:15am, Cornwall Fire and Rescue service received the first of three separate calls, originating from Rock Lane and Barn Lane in Bodmin, claiming that a property in the area was on fire and that there was a dog inside.
Taking the incident seriously, emergency operators tried to obtain an address for the incident but were eventually satisfied that the calls were, in fact, a hoax.
Cornwall Fire and Rescue Service have now stressed that it is a criminal offence to make hoax calls to the emergency services and those that do so can be subject to fined or even a custodial sentence.
A spokesperson for the Cornwall Fire and Rescure Service said: "The first of three separate 999 calls were made by school-aged children reporting that a house was burning with a dog inside.
"Highly trained emergency operators, fearing a serious incident, tried to obtain an address but it became evident that the calls were hoax.
"It is a criminal offence to make hoax calls to the emergency services and those prosecuted, can receive heavy fines or even a custodial sentence.
"It also wastes the time of BT 999 operators, emergency control room operators and emergency responders, that may not be able to respond to genuine emergencies, while dealing with a hoax call.
"The calls today were made from Rock Lane and Barn Lane in Bodmin and clearly demonstrates that some children fail to understand that they must not misuse the 999 system."