Dubbo firefighters are alarmed at the number of people calling the station instead of triple zero (000) to report fires recently.
Dubbo fire crews want the public to know that triple zero (000) is the only number to call to report a fire.
Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) Dubbo acting station commander Chris Cusack said the recent trend could have serious consequences.
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“The practice of calling the station causes delays in getting to a fire,” he said.
“It’s a case of double handling when we receive a call through the local exchange; we take the call, then call our communications centre and pass the information onto them before we respond to the incident.
“If people were to ring triple zero, the caller is spoken to by someone who is specially trained in taking emergency calls.
The caller's number is displayed, should they need to be called back for more info and we are notified of the call electronically through a dispatch system.”
Mr Cusack said in recent times the volume of people calling the station has increased.
“We use to get the odd call through the local exchange, but in recent times it has increased noticeably,” he said.
“We are hoping we can educate the community to use the free triple zero (000) service to prevent this happening.
“Our message is that even if it is only small or even if you think it's not an emergency still call triple zero (000).
“There should be no confusion that in any case, we would like people to report emergencies by dialling triple zero.”
Mr Cusack said the triple zero network is Australia wide.
“It is a service provided to take emergency calls specifically,” he said.
“The local station number should be used for general inquiries about fire safety or other general business communication.
“To report a fire do not call the fire station, so for all emergencies, dial triple zero (000).”