Dengue fogging triggers panicked calls to firemen

Azmi (left) handing over a certificate of participation to Pusat Bomba Komuniti chief Mohd Noor Abdul Rahim during the annual gathering in Batu Kawan, Penang.

The thick fog from the fogging led many people to call the department to report a fire.

“The fogging carried out were often wrongly assumed to be fire.

“Most of such calls to the department were by those who claimed they saw smoke from a fire.

“However, when we got there, there was no fire,” department director Azmi Tamat said.

He also said that the department received calls from lonely people who just wanted to talk to somebody.

“However, the number of such calls is small,” he said yesterday.

Azmi said that the number of prank calls to the department had also increased over the years.

“Based on statistics provided by the department, the number of prank calls had increased from 10 in 2011 to 13 in 2012.

“Then we recorded 54 in 2013, 115 in 2014 and 141 last year,” he told a press conference after an annual gathering at the department’s headquarters in Batu Kawan, Penang, yesterday.

He added that the department received fewer emergency calls last year compared with 2014.

“We received 6,216 emergency calls last year and 6,386 calls in 2014. We hope the public will make emergency calls only when necessary,” he said.

Azmi also said that three deaths were recorded, while 18 were injured in fire cases last year, compared with six deaths and 29 injured in 2014.

Statistics provided also showed that the department had helped prevent 37 suicide cases and apprehended people with unsound mind last year, compared with 27 cases in 2014.

At the gathering yesterday, several firemen were presented with certificates of excellence.

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