The number of hoax calls to Waterford Fire Services has increased by 65 per cent in a two-year period, according  to TD John Halligan.
In a recent Dáil question to the Minister for the Environment, Deputy Halligan detailed that the number of malicious calls to Waterford Fire Services went from 44 in 2010 to 66 in 2011, the latest year for which figures are available. In the county, that figure jumped from 10 in 2010 to 23 the following year.
Responding to the figures, Deputy Halligan said it was disgraceful that fire services which were already under severe pressure were being dispatched unnecessarily.
“The time wasting being experienced by our local emergency services is shocking and could result in assistance to a genuine caller being compromised,” he added.
Deputy Halligan urged the public to refrain from making hoax calls to emergency services because of the unnecessary additional demand it places at a time when cuts are being severely felt by these services.
In the city, there were 66 hoax calls in 2011, 44 in 2010, 36 in 2009, 51 in 2008 and 53 in 2007.
Twenty-three hoax calls were recorded in County Waterford in 2011, 10 in 2010, 25 in 2009, 39 in 2008 and 25 in 2007.