These calls are either to demand recharge call cards or to propose love to female officers who answered the calls.

The Assistant Fire Master at the Fire Service Control Room, Divisional Officer Grade II (DOII) Mrs Joyce Ghansah made the revelation in Accra.

Accordioning to Mrs Ghansah, the more than 297,000 prank calls were received by the Ghana National Fire Service (GNFS) between December 24 last year and January 2 this year.

Out of the almost 300,000 calls received during the period, only three were calls from people genuinely in distress.

A prank call, also known as a crank call, is a telephone call intended by the caller as a practical joke played on the answering person. This call is usually noted to be a nuisance call.

Mrs Ghansah further explained that the pranks were sometimes responsible for fire officers delaying in arriving at scenes of fire as officers had to conduct some kind of investigation sometimes to ascertain whether indeed a property was on fire or an area needed emergency help.

“There had been many instances where the GNFS dispatched fire tenders and officers only to find out on arrival at the scenes that they had been pranked,” she said, stressing that such occurrences resulted in losses for the service.

The service said it is collaborating with National Security to track persons who engaged in such activities, hence admonishes culprits to put an end to the menace.

The GNFS has introduced 122 as an emergency line which would serve as an alternative telephone number for persons who were not able to reach the main emergency lines.