Reno Emergency Communications (Reno ECOMM) is asking the community to make sure their cell phones are properly secured and not placed in a position where even a locked key pad can still activate an emergency call.
“Abandoned calls and 9-1-1 hang-ups make up for 38% of the calls received by the center,” advises Kelly Odom, Reno ECOMM Assistant Manager. “For every 9-1-1 hang-up or abandoned call a dispatcher needs to call the number back to ascertain if there was an emergency. When this happens another 9-1-1 call may go unanswered and therefore may cause a delay in obtaining emergency assistance. We need the community’s help because you never know whose life may be on the other line.”
Citizens who accidentally call 9-1-1 should stay on the line and advise the dispatcher of the accidental dial. Parents that allow their children to play with a cell phone should place the phone in “airplane mode” to prevent an accidental call to 9-1-1.
In 2012, Reno ECOMM handled more than 400,000 calls to the center (both emergency and non-emergency calls). Of those calls more than 161,000 were 9-1-1 calls (predominately from cell phones). Out of the 161,000 calls, there were 61,112 hang-ups or abandoned calls. More than 95% of the call backs the dispatchers made were discovered to not have any sort of problem and were the result of accidental dials from cell phones or children being allowed to play with cell phones.
Many of the 9-1-1 hang-ups to Reno ECOMM are from repeat offenders. Citizens are reminded that repeated calls to 9-1-1 when there is no emergency is a gross misdemeanor (NRS 207.25 Unlawful use of an emergency number 9-1-1) and is punishable with jail time and a fine of up to $2,500
Many of the 9-1-1 hang-ups to Reno ECOMM are from repeat offenders. Citizens are reminded that repeated calls to 9-1-1 when there is no emergency is a gross misdemeanor (NRS 207.25 Unlawful use of an emergency number 9-1-1) and is punishable with jail time and a fine of up to $2,500.
Reno ECOMM answers 9-1-1 calls for the City of Reno and unincorporated areas of Washoe County and provides communications services for the Reno Police Department; Reno Fire Department; University of Nevada, Reno Police Department; Truckee Meadows Community College Police Department; and Reno Marshals.