KOOTENAI COUNTY, Idaho — The Kootenai County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) is asking residents to be aware of smartphone and smartwatch settings that automatically call 911 if a fall is detected.
KCSO said the 911 Center has seen a significant increase in false or abandoned 911 calls, where someone accidentally calls 911 but hangs up before anyone answers. In response to this, the office is asking people who accidentally call 911 to stay on the line and to be aware of any settings on their devices that might trigger an automatic 911 call.
On Saturday, the KCSO 911 center reportedly received more than 50 calls from one cell phone. The phone was later traced to a local theme park. It's believed that the person had a setting on their phone that automatically calls 911 if a fall is detected.
Every 911 call that comes into the KCSO 911 center is answered, but if no one is on the line when the call is answered, the dispatcher will call back until someone answers. KCSO said this can take several minutes to do and takes time away from responding to true emergencies.
If you accidentally call 911, KCSO is asking you to stay on the line and let the dispatcher know the call was an accident. Also, the sheriff's office is asking people to be aware of any settings on their smartphones or smartwatch that could trigger an automatic 911 call.
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