For Immediate Release: December 16, 2011
Waterloo Region, Ontario – The Waterloo Regional Police Service, in partnership with the Ontario Association of Chiefs of Police and the Ontario 9-1-1 Advisory Board, is assisting with the development of a public education campaign to help reduce the prevalence of pocket-dialled and unintentional 9-1-1 emergency calls.
“As more people switch to wireless communication and with overall calls for service rising, we are increasingly concerned about the impact on limited resources that accidental 9-1-1 calls are having, “ said Chief Matt Torigian. “ Ontario’s police leaders are committed to ensuring the integrity of the 9-1-1 system so that real emergencies can be handled in a timely manner, and we are asking for the public’s cooperation.”
The public education campaign intends to raise awareness of this growing problem and identify ways to reduce the frequency of accidental or inappropriate emergency calls for service.
The Waterloo Regional Police communications centre receives an average of 60 to 80 unintended 9-1-1 emergency calls per day. To help ensure that 9-1-1 lines remain available for real emergencies, please consider the following tips:
• If you accidentally dial 9-1-1, stay on the line. Tell the call taker it was unintentional and confirm there is no emergency.
• Each cell phone is different. Learn about locking keypads and using standby mode before placing it in a briefcase, purse or pocket.
• Consider disabling one-touch emergency features.
• Look for cases that are designed to prevent pocket dialling.
• Avoid letting children play with phones.
For additional information on the appropriate use of 9-1-1, visit our website page Calling 9-1-1- What is an Emergency?. For information in 18 additional languages, also see Calling 911 in Other Languages.
Inspector Greg Lamport, Executive Officer
(519) 650-8500 ext. 8713
Olaf Heinzel, Public Affairs Coordinator
(519) 650-8500 ext. 8773