9-1-1 Hang-Up Calls Hurt!

9-1-1 Hang-Up Calls Hurt!

Nine-one-one hang-up calls happen every day, and that’s understandable. People make mistakes. It’s part of life. However, the rate of 9-1-1 misdials experienced by the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center that serves our community is high enough to hurt.

How high is it? On an average day, about 100 officers countywide are dispatched to check on callers who have dialed 9-1-1, hung-up, and failed to answer a call back from the center verifying their safety. Consider the impact and cost of time spent by law enforcement and 9-1-1 center personnel in dealing with these responses. Consider also that this represents only a minority of 9-1-1 hang up calls received. Most are handled by a call back from a tele communicator – but this still wastes valuable resources that would otherwise be ready to immediately answer a true emergency.
In 2011, an area code overlay was put into place in the 919 area code that required ten digit dialing. Because of the similarity of our area code and the emergency number, a majority of these erroneous calls are simply caused by careless dialing. Believe it or not, current numbers represent an improvement over our initial experience, but still represent a substantial negative impact on the delivery of emergency services. To put it in perspective, more than three times the number of hang-up calls are now received when compared to years before the overlay was activated.

The good news is that the public can help by following a few simple steps:
• Call 9-1-1 only in emergencies
• Dial carefully – 9-1-1 is an important call!
• If you accidentally call 9-1-1 – do not hang-up. If you hang up, an officer will be dispatched if contact cannot be made.

By following these rules, you can help make your community a safer place!

For more information, feel free to contact Raleigh-Wake Director Barry Furey at barry.furey@raleighnc.gov or 919-996-5015.