SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Metro Communications handles 911 phone calls in Sioux Falls. With advancing technology, operators have also seen a lot more accidental phone calls.
In fact, the number of accidental calls has gone up 10% from last year.
“It’s about 7% of our call volume. In comparison, if you think of all the accidents that happen on the roadways in our area, those calls account for 5% so it’s a substantial number of calls that we answer that are accidental,” Jesseca Mundahl, with Metro Communications said.
Accidental calls vary.
“We get quite a number of calls from watches or just the regular cell phone and then actually 1/3 of the calls we receive for 911 hang up are from children using phones that don’t have service anymore,” Mundahl said.
Even if phones aren’t activated through a provider you can still dial 911.
“Kids who are playing with them as a phone or get ahold of them, they’ll call and they’ll keep calling because once it’s in that emergency mode you can’t get it out of that,” Mundahl said.
After an accidental call comes in, 911 operators need to take steps to make sure that person is safe.
“They often call the person back to try and to make contact to say are you having an emergency?” Mundahl said.
If you accidentally call 911, the best thing to do is stay on the line and let the operator know you’re not having an emergency.