Queensland, Australia – Sixty-seven-year-old Valerie Dawn Gough is banned from ever again dialing “000,” the Australian version of “911,” after excessive calls cost taxpayers about $1 million over five years.
Gough, Australia’s “Grandma Who Cried Wolf,” has dialed for emergency services over 1,000 times since 2007, reports MSN. What’s more, she received numerous warnings and letters in an attempt to curb her impulsive dialing.
Prosecutors at her court appearance said that calling 911 repeatedly over the years has cost Australian taxpayers $1 million total.
Gough was tried and found guilty on 302 charges including the improper use of an emergency call service and using 911 to menace and harass, reports 9News.
Last year alone, Gough made more than 300 phone calls to the emergency service, topping out at 10 in a single day.
After receiving many warnings, Gough’s 911 call frequency actually increased, said prosecutors. It wasn’t reported what kinds of incidents Gough felt it necessary to contact emergency services for, but the bit about “menace and harass” makes me think a lot of these calls were of the “Noisy kids won’t turn down their stereo!” variety.
Just in case you’re afraid your 911 dialing is a bit offensive: No worries, mate. Gavin Trembath, Queensland’s assistant commissioner for emergency services, said that going to court over this sort of thing is an “extreme circumstance.”
“One false call is one too many,” he said. “We actually maintain a register of the false calls received.”
Gough is now on a two-year probation, and only a family member can call 911 on her behalf in the case of a life-threatening emergency.