Hertfordshire’s Fire and Rescue Service received nearly 22,000 emergency calls last year, many of them to situations where lives and property were at risk.
However some of the calls are not quite as serious as others.
While residents of Hertfordshire can rest assured that firefighters are on duty 24/7, 365 days a year, to answer calls for assistance, some people think that they are there to solve any problem, however bizarre.
One caller wanted to report a spaceship that was on fire. Another called to report that there were chickens running down the road.
A person was concerned that his favourite ‘mix tape’ was on fire, while another explained that a sofa had been delivered and had got wedged in the door.
A toy helicopter stuck in a tree is not really a job for the emergency services nor is removing a dead rat from the living room floor, fixing a bicycle puncture or looking for lost spectacles.
Chief fire officer Roy Wilsher said: “This is a bit of fun but there is a serious message behind it. Hertfordshire Fire and Rescue, alongside colleagues in the police and ambulance service, is here to help but we are asking people not to call 999 unless it’s a real emergency. Such calls are a waste of time and are potentially blocking calls from people in genuine danger.
“Firefighters across the county attended 2,439 fires and nearly 500 road traffic collisions last year as well as many other serious and life-threatening situations.
“Let’s not make things more difficult for them with nonsense or hoax calls.”