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4 November 2011, 06:00
A hoax call has cost the air ambulance charity £2,000 after it was called out on Tuesday.
A young boy, thought to be around 11, told the dispatch team his friend had head injuries after falling off his bike at the disused railway line at Southcote.
The Thames Valley and Chiltern Air Ambulance (TCACAA) was sent out because of the location, but also because the injuries sounded life-threatening.
But when the paramedics arrived - the boys couldn't be found. Andy Colledge, who was in the control room, says they had them fooled:
"It was definitely something that they planned. This wasn't spur of the moment. Most hoax calls involving children you can hear them giggling in the background this wasn't that at all - this has been completely staged and has caused huge disruption."
The Air Ambulance is entirely funded by donations and serves Berkshire, Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire.
Pat Conafray, Head of Fundraising at TVACAA, said:
"The boy responsible for placing the hoax call not only wasted valuable funds to keep this life-saving, emergency service operational but meant that the Air Ambulance was also unavailable to attend real life-threatening emergencies, ultimately risking the lives of others."
Mr Colledge reckons they've found the boys responsible and Thames Valley Police are investigating.