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Nearly 40 calls to 911 placed in error in past 24 hours: police

South Simcoe police provide tips to avoid 911 misdials
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South Simcoe police emergency communications staff are responsible for answering the majority of 911 calls in the Bradford and Innisfil area.

In the preceding 24 hours, police have received 38 calls placed to 911 in error. These calls tie up 911 communication staff who are responsible for providing efficient services to the community.

Often errant callers will hang up without speaking to the operator.  911 operators have a duty to ensure a caller’s well-being. Open lines or hang-ups will prompt a response from the operator and possibly the police. 911 operators are aware that mistakes happen. Should you call 911 by accident, remain calm, stay on the line, and explain to the operator what happened. The 911 call taker will verify that you do not need assistance.

Operators are there to be your lifeline to the emergency response network. Emergency services have a duty to respond to all 911 calls. Be aware that an operator may dispatch an emergency crew to your location to verify your well-being. Should crews be dispatched to your location, emergency personnel will quickly verify that everything is proper and clear as quickly as possible.

Tips to prevent accidental 911 calls:

Most smartphones have an emergency auto-dial feature. Ensure you understand how it works and how it is triggered. Check your device settings or call your service provider for assistance.

Don’t pre-program 911 into your smartphone, home or business phone. By design 911 is short enough to remember.

Some business phone systems require a 9 to be dialled first prior to placing an outgoing call. If possible, consider programming your phone system to require a different prefix.

Don’t let your kids play with your phone. As tempting as this can be a large volume of accidental calls to 911 are placed in error from children.

International calls are another common source of misdialled 911 calls. If you are placing an international call that requires additional prefixes, pay special attention to your dialling. Often international calls require a series of numbers that are unusual to other calls traditionally placed throughout North America.