Emergency 911 dispatchers in a Chicago suburb are going to receive 300 fewer phone calls this month after a toddler making prank calls to 911 was stopped. A 4-year-old girl who was given an old mobile phone as a toy by her mother was the culprit.
911 Capabilities In A Deactivated Phone
Unbeknownst to the mother, even if a cellphone doesn’t have paid service, it’s still able to call 911. Federal law requires that all deactivated cell phones still have the ability to dial 911. Many phones will call 911 automatically if the user holds down the 9 button, which is likely how the toddler was able to contact dispatchers so easily.
Toddler Makes Almost 300 Prank Calls To 911 In One Month
The toddler would call 911 sometimes as many as 20 times per shift. In total, she made 287 prank calls to 911 last month. The volume of prank calls to 911 was starting to impact the dispatch center’s ability to properly answer emergency calls potentially putting lives in danger.
Police were able to triangulate the location of the phone to an apartment complex but didn’t know which apartment the child lived in. So authorities offered to deliver food to her house. “She said she wanted McDonald’s,” said Steve Cordes, executive director of QuadCom‘s emergency center. The toddler then told the authorities where she lived.
The Importance Of Teaching Children How To Use 911 Properly
The mother took the phone away from the toddler after police arrived. Maybe the mom should invest in a book called “It’s Time to Call 911” which teaches children when it’s appropriate to call 911.