If you Dail 911 by Mistake, Please Do Not Hang Up

If you Dail 911 by Mistake, Please Do Not Hang Up

During a 60-hour period, from 4pm Friday January 19th, to 4am Monday January 22nd, dispatchers for the North Bay Police Service logged 193 calls for service. Over and above police calls for service, North Bay Police dispatchers also answer and dispatch calls for the North Bay Fire and Emergency Services, and answer 911 calls for the North Bay Ambulance Service.

Of the 193 police calls that were logged, 31 were 911 hang-up calls. These 911 hang-ups, or sometimes referred to as “pocket dials”, are a continual drain on already strained resources. Each 911 hang-up, must be logged, and followed up on, which includes an attempt to call the person back, and if not answered, a message is left.

If no one calls back after a message is left, the phone carrier company is contacted, and subscriber information is obtained, including an address. If this address is in North Bay, attempts are made to go to the address and make contact with the phone owner. If the address is outside of the NBPS jurisdiction, the appropriate police service is notified. All 911 hang-ups must remain open until they are resolved in some manner, which, in some cases takes hours. “Never just hang up if it is a mistake or misdial.” says Corry Ouellette, a long-time dispatcher with the North Bay Police Service. “It is important to let the operator know that it was not a real emergency. If you do not help us with this information, this certainly takes away from the 911 centre’s ability to take calls that are emergencies, and response times may be hindered”

The North Bay Police Service is reminding the public that;

  • If you dial 911 by mistake, stay on the line, as this is the quickest way to resolve these calls.
  • If you “pocket dialed” 911, and police are calling you back, please answer and resolve the call.
  • If you receive a message from the North Bay Police Service, please call back immediately.

If you have called 911, and need assistance, please advise the dispatcher of your issue. If you are unable to speak, if at all possible, leave the line open, so an officer can be sent to assist.

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