Emergency crews were led on a wild goose chase as they searched for an injured man in a wrecked truck recently, but were not able to locate him leaving them to believe that they were responding to a prank call.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Department received a 911 call on Monday, July 30 during the late afternoon with an individual claiming that they were in a single cab black pickup truck, and that they had left the roadway in Joaquin near the baseball field on State Highway 7 East. The dispatchers were told by the individual that he had a severe injury to his knee, and when they requested his phone number he stated that it was a brand new one, and he didn’t know it yet.
Emergency personnel including the Joaquin Volunteer Fire Department, Shelby County Sheriff’s Department Deputies, Care Plus EMS, Texas Department of Public Safety, and an ambulatory helicopter arrived in the area to help the person.
Upon arriving at the scene no one was able to locate the man, or his vehicle, and the helicopter circled the area in hopes of locating the wreck scene from the air. As no one was able to locate him West Shelby Volunteer Firemen were dispatched to search State Highway 7 West in case the man had been disoriented during his wreck.
Several hours were put into the search for the wreck, and the individual that emergency personnel believed was in serious need of help.
No man was ever found, and it seems that the call may have been a prank of some sort. If that is the case, the call wasted a great deal of tax payers money in fuel, and manpower, the money of the firemen who responded to the scene, as well as the cost of the helicopter to fly over the area in search of this person.
These costs would have been totally acceptable if the emergency personnel were responding to an actual call, but since the area was searched for many hours with no evidence of even a wreck, it is very likely the call was fake.
The entire cost to all involved is unknown at this time.
“As far as we know it was a prank call. We scoured that whole area. Dispatch asked for a call back number, and he said that he had just gotten that phone and he didn’t know what the number was, so he couldn’t give us a call back number. After looking for a couple of hours, and as many as five officers, and then members of the fire department from Joaquin looking. We didn’t get a call back on it, stated Sheriff Johnson.
“I would encourage people not to misuse 911, because it is a very serious situation.”
Sheriff Johnson stated that the charge for misuse of 911 comes under Texas Penal Code 42.06, and is a class A misdemeanor.