Emergency call center’s spike in calls can be linked to your mobile devices

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Nationally and locally, 9-1-1 operators are frustrated! There’s been a dramatic increase in 9-1-1misdails to emergency call centers.

“This has happened because of a phone upgrade between Apple and Android. I believe when I looked at the call numbers since May, we’ve had about 400 more incomplete 911 calls than we have had in the previous month because of it,” said the Communication Center Manager for Douglas County, Danielle Miller.

These unintentional phone calls can at times make work challenging as Miller shares. “It can at certain times if we have other incidents that are going on and we need to put other callers on hold to answer these unintentional calls or if there’s extra radio traffic or if there’s an incident that’s already happening. We need to focus on the phones and sort of the radio, and it can make us a little more stressed.”

But no matter the call, the emergency call center staff will always treat every call with the same top-high-level priority.

“We treat them all the same. Butt dials and unintentional calls are always part of our daily routine, but we deal with them all the same. We answer everything with the same priority and then respond with the same priority. Each of the incomplete ones gets a callback. If we don’t make contact, we give a callback again, and then there’s a response.”

If you accidentally call 9-1-1, Miller advises callers if possible don’t hang up. “If you just stay on the phone we can confirm if it’s an emergency or not an emergency. If you don’t, then of course we have to respond by calling you back or possibly sending an officer to go check on you.”

Miller said when people realize they accidentally called 9-1-1 they usually really do feel bad, and the operators at the emergency understand mistakes happen.