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HomeNewsOPP sounding the alarm on 9-1-1 pocket dials taking time from "real...

OPP sounding the alarm on 9-1-1 pocket dials taking time from “real emergencies”

KAWARTHA LAKES-Peterborough County OPP are sounding the alarm about 9-1-1 pocket dials tying up police resources and taking time away from real emergencies.

Officials say they responded to 58 pocket dials and unintentional 9-1-1 calls in the last seven days.

Pocket dials or unintentional calls to 9-1-1 happen when a mobile device carried in a pocket, purse, backpack or other piece of clothing accidentally activates the keypad causing the emergency call.

Police say many calls still occur when young children are given cell phones and smart phones to play with as toys. As well there are many smart watches that can be synced to a smartphone and they too can make unintentional calls, which is another scenario which has made its appearance as a cause of unintentional 9-1-1 calls.

According to police, for every unintentional call or pocket dial received, an emergency communicator must determine whether a real emergency exists and if police, fire or paramedics should be dispatched. “With every unintentional call received, precious seconds may be taken away from someone who really needs help. Furthermore, police must follow up with each 9-1-1 call by making contact with the caller.” said Constable Joe Ayotte in a press release.

If you place an unintentional 9-1-1 call, stay on the line to let the emergency operator know it was a pocket dial/unintentional call. Every 9-1-1 call is taken seriously. When a 9-1-1 caller doesn’t respond, that could be a sign of trouble – a possibility an emergency responder can’t ignore.

You can prevent pocket dials or unintentional 9-1-1 calls by:

·      Using the keypad lock feature. Keypad locks, some of which can be programmed to activate automatically, prevent a mobile device from responding to keystrokes until the user unlocks the keypad using a short combination of key presses or password.

·      Turning off the 9-1-1 auto-dial feature. Check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website, or call the service provider to determine whether your device has this feature and how to turn it off.

·      Refraining from programming a wireless device to automatically or “speed dial” 9-1-1.

 

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Pamela Vanmeer
Pamela Vanmeerhttps://www.kawartha411.ca/
Pamela VanMeer is a two time winner of the prestigious Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) Award. Her investigative reports on abuse in Long Term Care Homes garnered international attention for the issue and won the Ron Laidlaw Award. She is a former reporter and anchor at CHEX News, now Global Peterborough and helped launch the New CHEX Daily, a daily half hour talk show. While at CHCH News in Hamilton she covered some of the biggest news stories of the day.

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