If you accidentally call 911

If you accidentally call 911

Dialed 911 by mistake? Be sure to stay on the line

There's no need to panic if you call 911 by mistake; but stay on the line to let them know.

April 10–16 is Emergency Service Dispatchers and 911 Awareness Week, and the RCMP wants the public to know how they can help the women and men who work in the province’s Operational Communications Centres (OCCs), answering non-emergency and 911 calls.

Many of the calls received by dispatchers are false or abandoned 911 calls. A common cause of them is what’s known as “pocket dialing”, which occurs when an unsecured cellphone dials a number, often because the owner has it in his or her pocket and accidentally depresses one of the keys. Pocket dialing can be avoided by locking your cellphone when it’s not in use.

“Don’t panic if you call 911 by mistake, and stay on the line,” advises Ashcroft Const. Nick Theoret. Letting the dispatcher know it was a false alarm “Does help us in determining if it’s a real emergency or something we need to follow up on.” If you don’t do this, the operator needs to ensure that the caller is okay. This can be as easy as calling the number back to make sure  everything is fine. If there’s no answer, however, the operator must try to track the location of the phone and then send police to the site, which ties up valuable resources.

Before you dial 911 for the police, be sure that it really is an emergency: lives are in danger, a serious crime is in progress, or the police are needed immediately. If the crime has already been committed and the suspects are gone, or no lives are in danger, call the local detachment’s non-emergency number.

When you dial 911, be prepared for questions, some of which may not seem relevant. The operators need this information to make sure the responding officers fully understand the situation, so try to stay calm and answer as fully as possible.. “The call taker will already have dispatched police,” says Theoret, “and will then update us with more information as it’s gathered.”

Just Posted

Aerial view of a wildfire at 16 Mile, 11 kilometres northwest of Cache Creek, that started on the afternoon of June 15. (Photo credit: BC Wildfire Service)
Wildfire at 16 Mile now being held

Wildfire started on the afternoon of June 15 at 16 Mile, east of Highway 97

The Desert Daze Music Festival is doggone good fun, as shown in this photo from the 2019 festival, and it will be back in Spences Bridge this September. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
‘Best Little Fest in the West’ returning to Spences Bridge

Belated 10th anniversary Desert Daze festival going ahead with music, vendors, workshops, and more

Internet speed graphic, no date. Photo credit: Pixabay
Study asks for public input to show actual Internet speeds in BC communities

Federal maps showing Internet speeds might be inflated, so communities lose out on faster Internet

Fireworks are among the things now banned throughout the Kamloops Fire Centre, as the weather heats up and a dry summer looms. (Photo credit: Black Press files)
Category 2 and 3 open fires, fireworks now banned in Kamloops Fire Centre

Ban on certain types of fires and fire activities in place until Oct. 15

Cache Creek Village office, date unknown. (Photo credit: Wendy Coomber)
Cache Creek eyes water conservation bylaw as usage increases

Water bylaw was considered in 2019 but did not move forward

The border crossing on Highway 11 in Abbotsford heading south (file)
VIDEO: Western premiers call for clarity, timelines on international travel, reopening rules

Trudeau has called Thursday meeting, premiers say they expect to leave that meeting with a plan

St. Joseph's Mission site is located about six kilometres from Williams Lake First Nation. (Photo submitted)
Williams Lake First Nation to search residential school site for unmarked graves

St. Joseph’s Mission Indian Residential School operated from 1886 to 1981

Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Tuesday’s Lotto Max draw went unclaimed. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lotto Max jackpot goes unclaimed again

42 of the 64 Maxmillion prizes of $1 million were won, the majority were sold in Ontario

FILE - This July 6, 2017 file photo shows prescription drugs in a glass flask at the state crime lab in Taylorsville, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)
Contaminants in generic drugs may cause long-term harm to DNA: B.C. researcher

Scientist says findings suggest high volume overseas facilities require strict regulation

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., on April 5, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Labour shortages, closed borders major obstacles to B.C. restaurant, tourism restarts

Industry expert says it won’t start to recover until international travellers can visit

(Black Press Media file)
Dirty money: Canadian currency the most germ-filled in the world, survey suggests

Canadian plastic currency was found to contain 209 bacterial cultures

(pixabay file shot)
B.C. ombudsperson labels youth confinement in jail ‘unsafe,’ calls for changes

Review states a maximum of 22 hours for youth, aged 12 from to 17, to be placed in solitary

Eleonore Alamillo-Laberge, 6, reads a book in Ottawa on Monday, June 12, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Parents will need to fight ‘COVID learning slump’ over summer: B.C. literacy experts

Parents who play an active role in educating their children this summer can reverse the slump by nearly 80%, says Janet Mort

Most Read