EMERGENCY services are urging the public to use the Triple Zero phone number sensibly as recent figures reveal the time and resources wasted by false calls.
Both NSW Ambulance and NSW Police are pushing the message after responding collectively to hundreds of thousands of hoax or trivial calls.
The NSW Police Force received almost 800,000 requests for assistance via Triple Zero in the 12 months to 31 March 2021, in addition to more than 580,000 non-emergency reports through the Police Assistance Line and Community Portal.
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While the figures were not available for individual regions, Riverina Police District Detective Inspector Adrian Telfer said the issue was widespread.
"We have historically encountered false reports, it is an ongoing issue, and something we take extremely seriously," he said.
"People need to remember that this is a criminal offence, it is a significant waste of police resources and if we do suspect or determine that someone has made a false call, we will investigate that accordingly."
Over the same 12-month period, the NSW Ambulance responded to more than 200,000 jobs where no patient was taken to hospital with reasons ranging from hoax calls to refusal of transport.
They also received a concerning number of calls for trivial matters including 1,036 calls from people complaining about constipation, 662 for a toothache, 215 for earaches, 167 for boils, 157 from people who couldn't sleep and 16 for hiccups.
NSW Ambulance Assistant Commissioner Steven Norris said non-emergency jobs take paramedics and call takers away from their most important work - saving lives.
"If you are having a medical emergency we will always respond to you but too often our paramedics are responding to calls that we simply don't need to attend," he said.
"If it isn't a medical emergency, please consider other health services such as your GP, a pharmacist or a registered nurse at HealthDirect which is available 24 hours a day."
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