Telecommunications Industry News
Ottawa Faced with 27,000 Accidental 911 Calls in 20099:13 pm on January 11, 2011 | Category: Cell Phones, Telecom Services, Telephone
Ottawa’s emergency operators dealt with some 27,000 inadvertent 911 calls in 2009, representing 12% of all emergency calls and resulting in many unnecessary police attendances, according to a recent report.
Many of these accidental calls result from cell phones being dialed in callers’ pockets or handbags, which is especially likely to happen when ’911′ is placed on speed dial, and a high percentage of the inadvertent callers immediately hang up.
“The most intuitive reaction when you accidentally call 911 is hang up and hope that nobody realizes that 911 was called,” commented Ottawa police Staff Sgt. Sandra McLaren. “In actual fact, itâ€™s that reaction that will cost us a lot of time.”
When a 911 call is terminated, operators must follow a procedure of calling back and asking the person a series of questions to ensure that there isn’t an emergency. If such calls go unanswered, police are deployed, McLaren explained, noting that the best thing for mistaken 911 callers to do is remain on the line.
“We can get to the bottom of this much more quickly than if the person hangs up,” she explained. “Every minute we can save in a 911 environment is a very precious minute to everybody.”
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Published by TeleClick Enterprises
Edited by Jeremy Maddock