People are inadvertently calling the emergency services thanks to a new iPhone prank that is doing the rounds.
Owners of the Apple phones are being encouraged by their friends to say “108” to Siri, the phone’s built-in digital assistant. However, as soon as they do they are being connected to the emergency services.
108 is the equivalent of 999 in India. Siri recognise this as a command to contact emergency services in the phone user’s local area and dials for them, just in case they are not able to do so themselves.
Some pranksters are taking things even further, by telling users to close their eyes for five seconds after saying “108” which prevents them from realising what is happening and disconnecting the call. It may be intended as a bit of harmless fun, but emergency services are stretched pretty thin as it is. Furthermore, people who are caught wasting emergency services' time could face punishment from the police.
PROFESSIONAL PRAISE: Kirklees Prevention Officer, Mohammed Ali, was named as the recipient of the AFSA ‘Outstanding Endeavour’ award
The annual Asian Fire Service Association (AFSA) awards returned to London this past weekend, where emergency services were commended for their efforts over the past 12 months.
Established to raise the profile of Asian staff in the fire and rescue service, the organisation now works alongside 29 stations across the UK as well as three non-FRS organisations.
The awards night commended people in eight different categories, from man and woman of the year, to awards for equality and leadership, with people from across the UK receiving awards.
Locally, Kirklees’ prevention officer and AFSA vice-chair, Mohammed Ali, was presented with the ‘Outstanding Endeavour’ award.
Speaking about the accolade, he said: “When I was told that I had won the award I was overwhelmed to be honest.
“As the vice-chair of the organisation, it came as a big surprise to me that I had even been considered. It was proud moment when I accepted the trophy on stage.”
CONGRATULATIONS: PC Amjad Ditta, Positive Action Co-ordinator with West Yorkshire Police, was highly commended in the ‘Positive Action’ category (pictured receiving his award from ex CFO Peter Dartford from Staffordshire FRS)
The award is presented annually to an AFSA member who has gone ‘above and beyond’ their call of duty.
As well as promoting AFSA across the country, Mohammed’s work in Kirklees, raising the profile of the fire service in all communities, as well as his ongoing charity work, were highlighted as reasons for his selection.
“Just being a part of the awards was a privilege for me,” he added.
“During my time with AFSA, I have seen how much impact an organisation like this can have on the way we work.
“It has been great working alongside these members for the past three years and I have to thank them all for their continued support.”
Also representing Yorkshire at the awards ceremony was PC Amjad Ditta - Positive Action Co-ordinator with West Yorkshire Police and Balvinder Singh Bains – Business Support Manager with West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Services.
The latter was nominated for the Outstanding Endeavour award, whilst PC Ditta was highly commended in the Positive Action category.
WINNER: Balvinder Singh Bains, Business Support Manager with WYFRS, was shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding Endeavour’ category
Previously speaking about what his role with the Force entails, PC Ditta said: “West Yorkshire Police will always be committed to bringing the best people into the service.
“However, the only way of doing this is by representing the community of which we serve. This isn’t the 1960’s or 70’s where the typical profile of the police was just white British.
“Today we have a number of ethnic minority communities in the region and people from EU countries. Only by recruiting different community representatives will we be able to learn.
“We do not have all the answers. We need to know if you go into a house, do you need to take your shoes off? We need to establish what cultural differences exist.
“That’s why we require a diverse workforce and that’s why this job is open to people of all backgrounds. It is the best job I’ve ever done.”