Officials with 911 dispatch in Windsor test new cross-border communication equipment, August 12, 2015. (Photo by Jason Viau)

OPP And Tecumseh Launch Initiative To Stop 911 Butt Dials

The Ontario Provincial Police hope a new initiative will make their operations more efficient and cut down on the number of accidental calls to 911.

It has teamed up with the Town of Tecumseh to raise awareness. It is called #KnowWhenToCall.

The public is reminded not to call 911 unless it is an emergency, and not to let children play with mobile phones or tablets.

Police must respond to all calls to 911 whether they are intentional or not. For every unintentional call, dispatchers have to decide whether there is a real emergency and if police, fire, or paramedics need to be sent out. False calls tie up emergency lines and could mean slower response to a real situation risking the safety of others who need help.

Each year, there were 572 accidental calls to 911 and 665 calls for residential and commercial false alarms in Tecumseh.

If you call 911 by accident, stay on the line and let the dispatcher know it was unintentional.

You can prevent a pocket dial to 911 by using a keypad lock feature, or turn off the 911 auto-dial feature on your phone.