After visiting several 911-emergency call centers in New York and Alaska, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly determined that 911 misdials from wireless numbers are a real problem. About 70% of all emergency calls come from wireless phones, and of that number, half were the result of misdials due to the phone being jostled around in a purse, or squished under a butt. This is up from about 20% only a few years ago.
O’Reilly thinks this means that as many as 84 million misdialed calls are made to 911 every year. That is more than 230,000 per day. An insane number. Some might say that this poses a threat to public health, especially in busy emergency systems like New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles. It may prevent those who need it from getting real help in time.
All mobile phones have the ability to call 911, whether connected to an active mobile service account or not. While this helps keep the service available, this feature increases the risk of young kids dialing 911 by accident or butt dialing. According to the Tennessee Emergency Communications Board, one child in Shelby County called 911 emergency 84 times in one night and this actually made the dispatch center nearly useless given the call traffic it normally handles. Although in that case the parents should really be held responsible for allowing it to happen. What can you do? Well, O’Reilly is asking for a review of the current rules over 911 calling, including how wireless phones without active service are able to call into the system. We will see what happens.
Source Phone ArenaFiled Under: Mobile Phone News