The Fountain Pen, Guelph's On-Line News
+ADV: Dining Guide Plus - Guelph and area Eating

OPP Reminder of Proper 911 Usage

Web posted on February 05, 2013

(County of Wellington, ON) - The County of Wellington OPP would like to remind everyone to be responsible with the use of 911. By accidentally dialing 911, or pocket dialing 911 with your cell phone can tie up the emergency lines, which can result in a delayed response for people who are dealing with real emergencies and need immediate assistance from police, fire or medical personnel.

In 2012, County of Wellington OPP responded to 2,683 non-emergent 911 calls. There have been 191 so far this year, compared to 160 from this time last year.

When you have an emergency just dial 911. When police, fire, or medical emergencies occur, 911 can help save precious time. Your call is answered by a trained emergency call taker who will provide you with the assistance you require. You can also dial 911 from your cellular phone. The call is toll free.

Call 9-1-1 to:

>> stop a crime
>> report a fire
>> save a life
>> in any EMERGENCY situation whenever police, fire or ambulance assistance is required immediately

DO NOT Call 9-1-1 to:

>> report a hydro outage
>> check weather or highway conditions
>> obtain government information
>> for directory assistance
>> for information about school closings, road conditions, directions, etc.

Use these numbers instead:

>> 1-888-310-1122 - O.P.P. 24 hrs toll-free
>> 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) - Crime stoppers
>> 1-800-268-4686 - MTO Road Info.
>> 4-1-1 - Directory Assistance
>> 1-888-310-1133 - O.P.P., TDD/TTY telephone for the deaf

A pocket-dial occurs when a cellular phone stored in an insecure fashion in places such as pockets, handbags and backpacks inadvertently place calls while being tossed about.

To prevent a cellular phone from pocket dialing, keep it in a holster that is designed for that specific cellular phone. If you don't have a holster, make sure to lock your device's keypad. Since some cellular phones allow 9-1-1 to be dialed even with a locked keypad, it is important to read your user manual or contact your cellular phone service provider to find out what other features are available to prevent pocket dials.

The County of Wellington OPP is also reminding the public that if a cell phone does accidentally dial 9-1-1, the wrong thing to do is hang up. When the OPP Provincial Communications Centres (PCC) operators receive 9-1-1 calls that result in the caller hanging up, they are required to make call-backs to ascertain whether the call is legitimate or accidental while also dispatching an officer to attend to confirm the caller's safety when locations are identifiable. It is therefore important to stay on the line and tell the PCC operator what happened.

The County of Wellington OPP is relying on the public to use the 911 system properly and take these important steps to avoid pocket dials so that 9-1-1 lines can be available to those who need them.