Help keep 000 line clear

NUISANCE calls to 000 are clogging the system with almost 40% of the 8.8 million calls expected this year predicted to be non-genuine.

Telstra Country Wide area general manager for the North Coast, Sue Passmore, said the number and frequency of non-genuine calls received by 000 operators seriously impacted on their capacity to respond to emergency calls.

“Triple-0 should only be dialled in life-threatening and/or time-critical situations when callers require a response from police, fire or ambulance services,” Ms Passmore said.

“Non-genuine calls can be received from fax machines, misdialled mobiles and, most disappointingly, deliberate hoaxes and abusive callers. These calls divert operators and emergency dispatchers from real, time-critical emergencies.”

She said that while the number of calls to 000 had fallen over the past two years, the rate of non-genuine calls had not.

Residents are also reminded that some ‘voice over internet protocol’ (VOIP) technologies have limitations when being relied upon to access 000.

“Consumers should check with their service provider to make sure they have access to 000,” she said.

“They should also be aware that their location details may not be available to the operator, which can cause delays in some emergency situations. VOIP services and cordless phones also require separate power supplies which can be a problem in blackouts.”

Making vexatious calls to 000 is an offence under the Australian Criminal Code.

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