Philly fire dept. cracks down on bogus 911 calls

The department began efforts to decrease the number of non-emergency 911 calls

PHILADELPHIA  — The Philadelphia Fire Department launched a campaign to end ambulance calls for non-emergencies. 

“I was called when I was a medic to an incident where the chief complaint was my teeth itch. That is not a medical emergency. Or, how do I open my garage door. Or, I can’t find my dog. You can make a strong case that they’re inappropriate and put a strain on the system,” Philadelphia emergency services director Mike Touchstone said.

Touchstone told CBS Local the campaign serves as a reminder to residents to use a non-emergency number in such cases.

The campaign’s kickoff event was the first for newly hired Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel. “Every department in the county that does emergency medical services is looking for ways to prevent those calls from occurring,” Thiel said. 

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