DRP’s Communications Inspector Joe Maiorano joined officers from across the GTA to launch a new campaign to combat pocket dialing.
They are trying to reduce the number of pocket dials and misdialed 911 calls. In 2011, the residents of Durham Region unintentionally made 32,072 calls to 911. That accounts for 17 per cent of all calls made, approximately 2,600 per month. All of these calls must be followed up by our communications team, which results in a delay for those seeking assistance in real emergencies.
"The increasing growth rate of cellular phone subscribers, including non-registered phones, has led to an alarming increase in the unintentional/pocket dialed 911 calls received by the DRP Communications Centre. One in every six 911 calls received is an unintentional call that requires valuable resources to confirm the safety of the caller," said Insp. Maiorano. "Public safety resources are being diverted to respond to those calls but it's something that can be prevented through awareness and education. When seconds count and resources are required from police, fire and ambulance, remember to - lock it before you pocket."
If this happens and you have called 911 accidentally, please do not hang up. Let the operator know it was a pocket dial. This will eliminate the need for the 911 operator to call you back to determine if there is an emergency, saving precious seconds, allowing them to move on to the next emergency call.
Every cellphone is different so take the time to learn how to prevent making these calls on your device. You can avoid making these calls by simply locking your keypad or putting your device in standby mode. Both of these options should not affect your ability to receive a phone call but may significantly reduce the chance of a pocket dial. To further reduce the pocket dial risk, do not program 911 into your phone and don’t let children play with the device.
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