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‘Can I have a Big Mac?’ London Fire Brigade release most ridiculous calls

PUBLISHED: 11:42 26 July 2016 | UPDATED: 13:36 26 July 2016

Generic shots of a Big Mac burger from a McDonalds restaurant. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday  November5, 2007.  Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

Generic shots of a Big Mac burger from a McDonalds restaurant. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday November5, 2007. Credit: Steve Parsons/PA Wire

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From a man calling to say that his “very very large friend” was stuck up a tree, to a man calling to request a Big Mac, the London Fire Brigade has revealed its top ten weirdest calls.

As the summer holidays have started, London Fire Brigade are reminding children and young people to dial 999 responsibly, after more than 6,000 hoax calls were made last year, potentially delaying firefighters from genuine emergencies.

In 2015, one caller complained that his pants were on fire, another phoned to say their mouth was on fire after eating a hot chilli whilst one caller just wanted to get in touch with the Queen.

Last year, the Brigade received 6,820 malicious hoax calls at its control centre, and officers challenged 5,504 of them, meaning firefighters did not attend.

The top ten weirdest calls:

- Caller said he was eating a hot chilli and his mouth was on fire

- Man saying his pants are on fire

- Caller claiming there’s a fire at the Statue of Liberty

- Caller complaining of a barking dog

- Woman calling to say she is scared of spiders

- Caller stating she is scared of a dead cat outside

- Person wanting a Big Mac

- Children calling because they want to see firefighters

- Caller asking for the Queen

- Caller saying he’s the Prime Minister and reporting a fire at 10 Downing Street

In order to crack down on malicious calls, the Brigade operates a ‘call challenge’ policy, where suspected hoax callers are given the chance to admit it and hang up.

Control officers are alerted if several 999 calls are made from the same number.

If traced, this can lead to phones being cut off and in worse case scenarios, the police are involved, which can lead to prosecutions.

The Brigade’s head of operational response, assistant commissioner Tom George, said children should be taught to always call 999 in a genuine emergency.

He said: “This summer holiday we’re asking parents to talk to their children about why it’s a bad idea to dial 999 and make hoax calls.

“Sometimes children don’t understand the implications of making hoax calls or that they’re wasting precious emergency service time by doing so.

“Some of the calls we receive are remarkable, people say some really bizarre things.

“I understand that some have health issues or genuine phobias which may impact on how they deal with certain situations, but many of the callers are simply messing about.

“Please talk to your children about the repercussions of making hoax calls and let them know that someone could be in genuine need of help whilst they’re wasting emergency service time.”


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