Check your phones as dispatchers report an increase in dropped 911 calls.
According to BC RCMP, the increase has been “significant” especially over the last few weeks. They are attributing them to the Emergency SOS feature on Android smart phones.
The feature allows users to make 911 calls quickly in the case of an emergency, but it can be activated without the owner knowing.
Most often, users don’t even realize the Emergency SOS has been activated and a call is made to 911,” said Operational Communications Centres officer in charge Supt. Mike Bhatti.
“These dropped and abandoned calls take time and resources away from actual emergencies. Please only call 911 if you need immediate assistance.”
RCMP say that after a 911 call is made, the dispatcher must decide if the caller is safe and there is not an actual emergency. If your phone does accidentally make a call, they ask you to stay on the line and explain that the call was an accident and answer any questions the dispatcher might have.
To avoid these incidents from happening, RCMP say three steps can be done:
- Go to your phone’s settings
- Tap the Safety and Emergency section
- Slide the toggle to turn the Emergency SOS option off