Even 'Rescue 1122' staff not spared
Wednesday, April 02, 2008
Rizwan Ehsan Ali
Pranksters did not spare even the 'Rescue 1122' staffers as they received more than 300 hoax calls on Tuesday in connection with April Fool's Day.
"We received around 508 calls until 3 p.m., but well over 300 were hoax," a 'Rescue 1122' official told 'The News.'
The April Fool's Day began at the 'Rescue 1122' office at Chandni Chowk with a hoax call. The caller claimed that a heavy truck had hit a motorcyclist in Ganjmandi and the motorcyclist had been badly injured.
"After receiving the call, we called back at the number to recheck and the caller insisted that there was an accident in Ganjmandi," the "Rescue 1122' official said.
However when an ambulance was sent there, there was no such accident in Ganjmandi.
A caller from Committee Chowk informed 'Rescue 1122' that a building had caught fire and he could see the fire right in front of him. When the rescue official inquired more about the fire, the caller said: "Don't you know today is April Fool's Day."
A man from Sadiqabad made a similar call and informed the 'Rescue 1122' that there was a big fire in Bilal Plaza at transformer Chowk. The man was quite confident and the rescuers had no option but to believe that it was not a hoax call.
"Even then we were not sure whether the caller was telling the truth or not. We moved an ambulance to check whether there was a fire. When it reached the spot, there was no fire at Bilal Plaza," the telephone operator at 'Rescue 1122' said.
In another incident, two girls called up in the morning and reported that there was a fatal accident in Westridge and they should move an ambulance. "They simply hung up the phone soon after giving the information," the operator said.
"We called back at the same number from where somebody told us that no call was made from their telephone set," he added.
Since the emergency service was launched in late August last year, a large number of calls are being received at the 'Rescue 1122' offices in Rawalpindi.
"Mothers call us and ask us to talk to their children," 'Rescue 1122' officials said.
Telephone calls to 'Rescue 1122' are free and perhaps that's one of the reasons that residents of Rawalpindi misuse this facility.
"At the moment, we can't block numbers despite the fact that we have a hi-tech system through which we can scan the history of hoax calls easily," another official of 'Rescue 1122' told 'The News'.
One of the ways to block these fake callers is that there should be charges for calling 1122 number while some believe that it would serve no purpose.
"If someone is in real emergency and has no credit in his mobile phone, how could he contact 'Rescue 1122'," they argue.
But then is it fair if a caller dials 1122 and asks: "Have you celebrated April Fool's Day or not?"
Disgusting and reprehensible acts by the common citizens. It is these very people who are halting the true progress of the country; for whom every single thing is a joke. :mad:
Who knows how many people had to suffer due to 1122 staff being spread thin because of these pranksters.
I advocate a fine of Rs.50,000 to Rs.100,000 on these scums of the Earth alongside a minor jail sentence.