The OPP wants to put a stop to what’s been a common occurrence in this day and age…pocket dialing.

More specifically, pocket dialing 911. Police say the amount of calls to the emergency service reached over 142-thousand in 2017 (from January 1st to June 30th), but no word on how many of those were pocket dials.

By comparison, there were almost 300-thousand calls total last year to 911. Over 2,000 of those are confirmed pocket dials, while another 30,000+ remain unknown.

It’s with that in mind that the OPP have launched the #KnowWhenToCall campaign.

In a release, they say it’s “to further educate the public on unintentional calls including pocket dials to 9-1-1. They continue to urge the public not to call 9-1-1 unless it’s an emergency, and not to let children play with mobile phones or tablets.”

“Pocket dials happen when a mobile device carried in a pocket, purse, backpack or other piece of clothing accidentally activates the keypad, causing the emergency call,” they add, “Many calls still occur when young children are given cell phones and smart phones to play with as toys. Even old, inactive devices with the SIM card removed can be used to dial 9-1-1.”

OPP say every unintentional call is time an emergency communicator must spend determining if a real emergency exists and which first responder is needed—whether it be police, fire or paramedics.

“With every unintentional call received, precious seconds may be taken away from someone who really needs help,” they add.

If you do happen to pocket dial 911, you are asked to stay on the line to let the operator know it was a pocket dial, as every call is taken seriously.

“When a 9-1-1 caller doesn’t respond, that could be a sign of trouble – a possibility an emergency responder can’t ignore.”

To prevent this from happening, you can do the following:

  • Using the keypad lock feature. Keypad locks, some of which can be programmed to activate automatically, prevent a mobile device from responding to keystrokes until the user unlocks the keypad using a short combination of key presses or password.
  • Turning off the 9-1-1 auto-dial feature. Check the user manual or the manufacturer’s website, or call the service provider to determine whether your device has this feature and how to turn it off.
  • Refraining from programming a wireless device to automatically or “speed dial” 9-1-1.
Filed under: Local News