A student on one of our recent Child Care courses told me this story. She works at my son’s school too!
She bought a new cell-phone, and switched her plan to the new phone. With the old one deactivated she gave it to her daughter to play with. The daughter was playing with it at the school when she heard someone answer it. Probably surprised and frightened or embarrassed, she managed to hang up. She never spoke to whoever it was that answered.
About 20 minutes later the school received a visit from the local police force, answering the 9-1-1 call that had then been abandoned.
I checked this with eComm to make sure I wasn’t going to be giving everyone bad information. They said:
“To the best of [our] knowledge, any deactivated cell phone no longer on a plan that has battery power (and is turned on) should still be able to get through to 9-1-1. A lot of people aren’t aware that their cell phones have this capability even when they’re not under any active phone contract, so we’re always reminding parents to take batteries out of old cell phones if they’re going to give them to their kids to play with.”
- Take away the battery before kids get to play
- Or you could keep it charged in your car for emergency use – just make sure it can’t be accidentally played with!
- One call from a cell phone, nothing said, probably only a few seconds of silence…. And still they turn up to the correct address. Wow – our emergency services are good!!
Other sources of accidental calls?
Oh yes – many other things can call 9-1-1 for you. Things you don’t want to make calls:
- Your bag
- Your purse
- Your jeans or pants
- Your back-pack
- Your pets (especially if you have a phone that just needs you to press and hold #1)
And in case you thought they were innocent, these items and others make several hundred phantom calls every day in our area.
Wouldn’t we all get a faster response when we needed it if they weren’t answering several hundred phantom calls a day?