The Chronicle Editorial: Ghana Ambulance Service palaver: Police should descend on prank callers

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Emergency Technicians at the National Ambulance Service Dispatch Centre have bemoaned the rate at which some individuals deliberately interrupt their work with prank calls.

Matilda Nartey, Head of Dispatch at the centre, in an interview with Citi FM, an Accra-based private radio station, recently revealed that her outfit records as high as over 200 prank calls in an hour, a situation she described as worrying.

“Prank calls are giving us a very big problem. It is making our work very difficult. Prank callers are just engaging the line to prevent genuine cases from getting to us. Ever since the 112 was launched, within an hour we received more than 200 prank calls,” she lamented.

“Some call just to insult, and some even call to demand money. We’ve been writing all the numbers that have been calling for us to give it to the telecos, and also to report to the police. If it will be possible, the individuals behind that could be prosecuted,” she added.

The Chronicle fully supports the resolve by the National Ambulance Service Dispatch Centre to report these prank callers to the police for the necessary action to be taken.

Ambulance services all over the world are considered an emergency, but if some unscrupulous people are refusing to fall in line, then the laws of the land must deal severely with these people we consider as nation wreckers.

The Chronicle is happy that the system can record numbers that call the emergency line – 112. We are equally happy that these numbers that called the call centre to deceive the staff were all recorded.

As Matilda Nartey noted during the interview with the radio station, the numbers should quickly be supplied to the telecos for the latter to reveal the identity of their owners for the law to deal with them.

The authorities must crack down heavily on these prank callers before they destroy the service, which has come to boost health delivery in the country. Within the short period that the ambulance services have been in place, several lives that would have been lost have been saved. This means we need to sustain the service to help save more lives, especially in the rural areas where access to vehicles and proper health delivery sometimes a challenge.

We, the media, must also take it upon ourselves, or as part of our corporate social responsibility, to educate the public about the dangers of making prank calls to the Ambulance Service call centre.

If we do this, and the police and telecos also play their roles, the problem would be solved, but if we sit idle, the nation wreckers would succeed in destroying the country.

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