The Vermilion Parish Communications District is asking the public’s help in dealing with pocket dialed calls to 911.
The parishes 911 system has seen an influx of wireless pocket dialed calls over the last 2-3 months. Unintentional 911 calls can tie up the 911 phone system and hinder a PSAP’s ability to respond to real emergency calls. Some of the callers have called over 100 times in the last few months.
The culprit seems to be an emergency phone button or 911 auto dial feature that some wireless phones have, essentially a one touch link to 911.
The problem is when you put your phone in your pocket and walk outside to work in the yard or go to the store, something as simple as walking can trigger the phone to dial 911, without you ever knowing until the 911 dispatcher calls you back, and they will call back until they can determine that you don’t have a real emergency.
Another problem the PSAP has is people letting young children play with their phones. The children end up calling 911 by accident and then the dispatcher has to figure out if there is a real emergency going on there. This also is time consuming and can take away from real emergency calls by tying up the 911 lines.
The District asks that you take appropriate measures to make sure that you’re not one of those individuals making unintentional 911 calls. The following consumer guide from the FCC discusses the situation below and has some remedies for making sure you don’t accidentally dial 911 from your wireless phone.
FCC Consumer Guide: Accidental 911 Calls From Wireless Phones Pose Risk to Public Safety