When someone accidentally calls 911, it could be putting someone else’s life in danger.
Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry, who is responsible for the Office of Public Safety, issued a news release today on the topic non-emergency calls to 911.
She said nearly 40 per cent of all calls to 911 are non-emergency calls and most of those occur due to 'pocket dialing' -- when the buttons are pushed inside a pocket or purse without the person's knowledge.
“Accidental and non-emergency calls to 911 tie up valuable resources, and may even delay getting life-saving help to someone who is in distress," she said.
The Office of Public Safety is launching a campaign this week to help end pocket dials to 911. Under the Emergency 911 Act, it is illegal to program 911 into any phone in Prince Edward Island.
To prevent accidental 911 calls, Sherry suggests ensuring 911 isn’t programmed into the phone's speed dial, and locking the phone’s touch screen or key pad before placing it in a pocket or purse.
“If you do mistakenly call 911, it is important to stay on the line and explain to the call-taker that emergency assistance is not required,” Sherry said. “Nine-one-one staff spend a lot of valuable time following up on calls where there was no one on the line.”