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Dispatchers ask for help to avoid 'pocket dial' calls to 911

Emergency dispatchers must respond to all accidental calls as if someone is actually in danger, using valuable time and resources.

Posted on June 18, 2014 at 1:53 p.m.

Emergency dispatchers receive dozens of accidental “pocket dial” calls each day and say the calls waste valuable time and resources.

According to a news release from St. Joseph County (Mich.) Central Dispatch, many of these calls come from phones that have had one button programmed to speed-dial 911. 

"This feature is arguably redundant since the whole reason 911 is the emergency number is that it is easy to remember, dial and no more work to use in a real emergency,“ the news release said. 

When an item presses on that key while the phone is in a purse, pocket or bag, the phone automatically dials 911.

When dispatchers receive a call and there is no one on the end of the line, they have to respond to the call “as if it were the caller’s last chance at life and safety,” according to the news release.

Dispatchers ask that people keep their phones in a pouch or case to reduce the likelihood of an accidental call.




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