HOLBROOK — Director Steve Hooke and the staff at the Holbrook Regional Emergency Communications Center (HRECC) would like to educate residents about accidental 911 calls and what residents should do if they accidentally call 911 or without knowing.
The HRECC reports a drastic increase recently in accidental 911 calls, in which individuals have either hung up the phone prior to the call being received by the public safety answering point (PSAP) or once the telecommunicator has answered the call. These calls often originate from smart devices, smart watches or tablets.
In all instances, these accidental calls require a follow-up as telecommunicators are required to verify the caller’s information. Telecommunicators then must dispatch the appropriate public safety personnel to determine whether or not there is an emergency.
“With smartphone technology offering a streamlined process to making emergency calls, we have seen a significant increase in accidental 911 calls,” Director Hooke said. “Accidental 911 calls can potentially result in public safety personnel and resources being diverted from real emergencies. We recommend that residents take a few simple precautions to prevent any future accidents.”
In an effort to prevent accidental 911 calls, the HRECC recommends that residents lock the screen on their cellular devices prior to placing it in their pocket or purse.
The HRECC also asks that residents refrain from giving their children cellular devices to play with as even cellular devices with no service plans still have the ability to call 911.
The HRECC requests that residents follow the tips below from 911.gov if they accidentally call 911:
- Stay on the line and don’t hang up. You will not get in trouble for accidentally calling 911.
- Please answer the telecommunicator’s questions. They are trying to determine whether or not there is an emergency or if someone is in need of assistance.