You’ve heard all of the warnings when it comes to a 911 emergency.
Don’t take that number lightly or call unless there is a true need.
Otherwise, vital emergency services could be tied up from helping someone who is in a serious situation, calling for help.
However, despite your best intentions or efforts, mistaken 112, 999 and 911 calls are made.
If you’re ever wondering exactly what to expect when 911 emergency calls accidentally happen, here’s a bit of information to keep handy.
Use it as a good reference, especially with young children who may be tempted to pick up the phone and dial for fun or because they don’t know better.
Stay on the 911 Emergency Line
If a 911 emergency call is made erroneously, do not hang up.
If you make a #999#112#999 call by mistake, stay on line.
In many locations around the world emergency services dispatchers have Caller ID and they will call back to assess the situation.
No matter how embarrassed or upset you may be about an honest mistake, don’t make it worse by taking more of their time as they try and reach you.
Explain what happened, whether you hit the wrong number on speed dial, or didn’t watch what you were doing.
The emergency services dispatcher may verify your name, phone number, and address to keep for future reference.
Expect Emergency Services if you Disconnect or Take Another Call
When 911 calls or indeed 112 and 999 emergency calls are made and not completed, dispatchers will go on alert.
They’re going to try and confirm the situation by calling back.
If your line is busy or you fail to answer, there is a good chance that your situation will be considered a 112, 999, or 911 emergency.
While 911 emergency response dispatchers may think that it was a misdial, they have no way of truly knowing.
They’d rather be safe than sorry.
You’re going to find yourself in more trouble when police arrive at your door only to discover you dialed 911 accidentally when you sat on your phone.
Their help could be needed elsewhere.
Remember the first rule of thumb: stay on the line and make the proper apologies as quickly as possible, taking care not to make the same mistake again.
Expect People to be Understanding
In general, when you make an emergency call, dispatchers are going to be patient and understanding.
Even when 911 emergency calls are made by mistake, there will be a sense of relief that it is not a true 911 emergency.
When you are truly apologetic, emergency call dispatchers will accept that mistakes happen.
They will remind you to take better care when making an emergency call in the future.
The call should be short and sweet to free up the line.
Learn the Proper Numbers to Call
Besides dialing emergency services by mistake, there may be times that you call 911 intentionally for a situation that does not merit an emergency call.
Learn important phone numbers in your local phone book to avoid that problem in the future.
Jot down animal control, the local authority numbers for non-emergency situations, the cable company’s number, the phone company’s contact information, and the number for the power company.
There will be many situations that do not require assistance from the emergency services.
You don’t want to waste anyone’s time on a 911 call when you are dealing with a power outage, need a phone number, a raccoon in the garage, or your cable went out.
911, 999, and 112 emergency service dispatchers are more likely to become impatient with you when you make calls that are not an accident and are not life-threatening in nature.
Keep your list handy and make sure everyone in the family has it for a quick, easy reference. Hopefully, there will be fewer, accidental 911 calls!