The call is all too familiar with the 911 Center. Someone calls 911 and then hangs up without having a conversation with the call-taker. It happens for many reasons:
- Accidentally dials 911
- Child calls 911
- Multiple people call 911 for one emergency
- Calls 911 and then changes their mind
- Child playing with disconnected phone (will still call 911)
When a person hangs up on a 911 call, the call-taker takes the time to call the person back to insure that police or fire response is not needed. While the call-taker is trying to make contact with a hang-up caller, another person with a true emergency could be calling in.
Since the beginning of 2015, the 911 Center has noticed that this problem is increasing. In January, nearly 15% of all 911 calls into the 911 Center were abandoned calls. In April, that number grew to 17%. In June, abandoned calls represented nearly 27% of all 911 calls.
The answer to this problem is simple: When calling 911, stay on the line. If you no longer need public safety response, tell the call-taker. In a true emergency, seconds are valuable. It takes less time to make contact with a call-taker and cancel your call than to hang-up and force the call-taker to call you back to determine the nature of your call.
If you are a witness to a crime or traffic accident, please call 911. Your statements could be valuable to the investigation. Never assume that someone else is calling 911 in an emergency.