Shift supervisor Sergeant Steve Schultz manages the work of nine police stations within the Bundaberg district.
Shift supervisor Sergeant Steve Schultz manages the work of nine police stations within the Bundaberg district. Mike Knott

Trivial Triple-0 calls tie up cops

SMALL and petty matters are tying up Bundaberg Police staff on hand to answer Triple-0 emergency calls.

Police took a number of calls to the emergency number over the weekend, but Bundaberg Police Acting Inspector Joe Hildred said “a lot” were not urgent.

“Triple-0 should only be used in very urgent matters,” he said.

“That is, matters involving imminent and potential injuries to persons or property.

“Triple-0 should not be used for matters like the petty stealing of a dog or a break and enter which may have happened in the past week.”

Acting Insp Hildred said there were three people tasked to answer Triple-0 calls at any one time.

“Calling the number when there is not an emergency ties police up when there may be more life-threatening matters that people are trying to ring through,” he said.

Acting Insp Hildred said people who needed assistance for non-urgent matters should instead telephone Police Link on 131 444.

“The number is available at any time of the day and does not tie up people waiting to take emergency calls,” he said.

But while police are urging people to only call Triple-0 in an emergency, the Queensland Ambulance Service advises anyone needing medical assistance to use the number.

“If someone thinks they are sick and needs to call an ambulance, they need to call Triple-0,” Queensland Ambulance Service regional communications manager Paul Shaw said.

“We have a system which allows us to prioritise calls. Then we have clinical people who call back those lesser priority calls and check what is happening and advice is there if there is going to be a delay.”

But while it does not have to be an emergency to call an ambulance, Mr Shaw warned against hoax callers.

“In the last month we’ve probably had two calls which have been deemed to be hoaxes,” he said.

“For those we hand the details over to police, who will investigate.”

Mr Shaw said hoax callers were often bored children at home during school holidays, who often rang from a telephone box rather than a home phone.



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