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November 21, 2012
For immediate release
Stop pocket dialing 911
Environment, Labour and Justice
When you accidentally call 911, you could be putting someone else’s life in danger, says Environment, Labour and Justice Minister Janice Sherry.
“Nearly 40 per cent of all calls to 911 are non-emergency calls and most of those occur when a cell phone placed in a pocket or purse dials 911 without the person’s knowledge,” Ms. Sherry said. “Accidental and non-emergency calls to 911 tie up valuable resources, and may even delay getting life-saving help to someone who is in distress.”
The Office of Public Safety is launching a campaign this week to help end pocket dials to 911. Under the Emergency 911 Act, it is illegal to program 911 into any phone in Prince Edward Island.
To prevent accidental 911 calls, Ms. Sherry suggests you ensure 911 isn’t programmed into your speed dial, and lock your phone’s touch screen or key pad before placing it in your pocket or purse.
“If you do mistakenly call 911, it is important to stay on the line and explain to the call-taker that emergency assistance is not required,” Ms. Sherry said. “Nine-one-one staff spend a lot of valuable time following up on calls where there was no one on the line.”
More information on pocket dialing can be found at www.peipublicsafety.ca or by following the Office of Public Safety on facebook and Twitter at peipublicsafety.