If you’ve ever accidentally called 911 as a child, you aren’t alone. However, a recent study by Google shows that accidental 911 calls made from smartphones is a growing challenge for dispatch responders. The San Francisco Department of Emergency Management’s 28% increase (from 2011 to 2014) in the number of calls in recent years is extraordinary, considering at the beginning of the organization’s founding, numbers have remained relatively consistent. This upsurge can be attributed to the fact that 30% of calls made in a window of time were costly and time-consuming accidents; each dropped call must be returned by a dispatcher, and wastes an average of a minute and 14 seconds. Last year, FCC Commissioner Michael O’Reilly estimated that 50% of the calls across America were made accidentally, totaling 84 million calls, or almost 200 full days of time dispatchers could’ve been utilizing resources to field actual emergencies. To aid in the snowballing issue, consumers should be more careful about properly locking their screens and pay more attention to preventing this issue with smartphones.
Contributor: Katie Sun