SOUTH Western Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SWASFT) is reminding parents to keep an eye on their mobile phones during the school holidays after receiving a number 999 prank calls from children.

The ambulance says the hoax calls have resulted in vital emergency resources being sent to peoples’ houses only to find no-one there when they arrive.

When the 999 control hub rang the caller back they were met with children laughing.

SWASFT chief executive Ken Wenman said: “Making hoax calls can put lives at risk. We strongly encourage parents to impress upon their children the importance of only dialling 999 in a genuine emergency situation.

"It is vital that people understand and appreciate the consequences associated with making hoax calls. We work with the police and other partners to seek the prosecution of people who abuse the 999 system.”

All emergency calls are recorded and can be traced.

Last year, 774 hoax calls were made to the ambulance service which distracted paramedics from attending 91 real emergencies.