Red Deer emergency services dispatcher Andrea McLean says this type of false alarm happens frequently.
She answers, for example, a call to 911 and hears a person who looks surprised on the end of the line and wonders how she dialed the number. Knowingly, Andrea McLean asks him:
Was your phone in the cup holder? When the person answers yes, she launches into her explanation.
On an iPhone 8 or later, an emergency call can be made by holding down both side buttons at the same time. A new screen appears, and shortly after, a countdown begins, and an alert sounds. If nothing happens, a call to 911 is initiated.
” Sometimes it’s children playing, sometimes it’s someone calling by accident. But, in the vast majority of cases, it is the cup holders that are at fault. »
In June, the Red Deer dispatch center received approximately 15,000 calls, including approximately 3,500 unintentional calls. Calgary’s 911 meanwhile receives more than 300 accidental calls a day, many of them triggered by a cup holder, according to a written statement from Alberta’s metropolitan dispatch department.
We try to inform people one by oneexplains Andrea McLean.
Red Deer Emergency Services has also launched a social media campaign to raise awareness of this issue.
These calls take away vital resources from a team that serves more than 453,000 people in some 70 communities, from Leduc to Airdrie, and to the borders of British Columbia and Saskatchewan.
If we are not answered, we actually have to call the person back manuallysays Andrea McLean.
If we hear anything suspicious, we have to alert the police because we don’t know if the person is safe.