Accidental 911 Calls Swamping System
from the damn-mobile-phones dept
A couple of years ago, while driving down 101 south of San Francisco I saw a car (for no clear reason) violently jerk to the left, hit the concrete center divider, and spin back out into the middle of the highway, pretty smashed up, and blocking the two center lanes. I grabbed my cell phone and called 911. I was told that all 911 operators were busy and to try back another time. I could not believe that 911 would have such a message. I tried for the next 10 minutes and never got through. It seems that 911 systems are being overloaded by “accidental” calls. Mostly these are from mobile phones that have an “emergency” quick dial button that gets pressed when someone sits on it or bumps up against something. There are stories from dispatchers who say they get 10 calls in a row, where all they hear are a meeting going on, a stereo playing, or people walking on gravel.