Fire service admits error with 999 call

Rachel Robinson and the damaged trailer
Rachel Robinson and the damaged trailer

A 999 call from Northowram ended up being routed to the London Fire Brigade.

Farmers David and Rachael Robinson desperately called for help as 20 bales of straw went up in flames and damaged a trailer near Robinson’s Farm Shop, Score Lane.

The 10.22 pm mobile call on November 1 by Mrs Robinson was during a firefighters strike and she was told it was not deemed a priority.

The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service initially denied any knowledge of the call, which was logged on Mrs Robinson’s phone. It now says a call was made but not received by WYFRS control.

Assistant Chief Fire Officer Dave Walton said: “It was routed by the 999 system to London Fire Brigade based on incorrect location information from the mobile phone provider.

“London Fire Brigade, based on their contingency planning arrangements, and on the assumption the call was from the London area, did not attend.

“Had the call been received by WYFRS we are confident we would have been able to provide an appropriate emergency response.”

Mr Robinson said he was appalled and is considering taking further action - and nobody had been out to explain the mix-up to the couple.

“The lady who took the call said it was a non-emergency and never asked my wife anything and I would like someone to be held responsible,” said Mr Robinson.

“The fire service has just walked away from this.”