Children accidentally dialing 911 keep Halton emergency crews frustrated and busy


Published October 22, 2020 at 3:27 pm

Children dialing 911 on cellphones are causing major headaches for emergency services.

Halton Regional Police say communication centres continually receive calls from young children who are given discarded phones to be played with.

The calls tie-up resources as emergency communication teams try to confirm if they are legitimate. Often, police, firefighters and ambulance crews are dispatched to homes only to discover a youngster has inadvertently pressed a button that activated a 911 call.

Halton Police say a recent incident had operators keep the child on the line for more than 90 minutes while officers knocked on over 50 doors looking for an emergency and to ensure the child’s safety. It was determined the same child had also called 911 from the same phone the previous night, again tying up lines and utilizing unnecessary resources. 

Police point out that a cellphone that is no longer connected to a service provider can still make outgoing emergency calls to 911. This is a safety feature designed with good intentions to save lives.

Even when an active phone is given to a child to play with, the emergency service can still be accessed. So police want you to stop doing that, too.

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