Many of us have been there: inadvertently calling 911 due to being unaware of our new cell phone's high tech emergency features. You push the wrong button too many times, and voila, emergency services is being dialed.

Between January and November of 2017, Sask911 operators took 330,281 calls. 58 percent, or 190,296 of those were from a cell phone and 12 percent or 40,046 were abandoned, meaning the caller hung up after dialing.

The provincial government wants to protect the integrity of their 911 system and free it up for actual scenarios, due to the number of calls received from individuals simply testing features, or accidentally hitting the wrong one, and so they are reminding people to get an understanding of how the device works. A common misconception is that certain combinations or features will activate a locating transmission.

"With some of these apps, and of course with social media as well, you get some misnomers where if you hit the home button three times or hit the power switch, it's going to contact 911 and supposed to broadcast your location. That does not work in the province of Saskatchewan or in Canada for that matter, to my knowledge," expressed Fire Chief Dale Feser.

For example, iPhones with newer operating systems can have their lock button clicked five times to have the option to swipe SOS. Then, the smartphone dials 911. However, while features such as emergency location broadcast are not a part of the equation, that doesn't that it doesn't work in the other direction.

Feser pointed to a situation that took place a few days ago, where a man was reported missing. He was able to be located through his phone, and was rescued before the succumbed to the bitterly cold elements.

"We can ping a phone to basically find out where that individual is, within about 15 meters, should that happen. These types of things are definitely used by emergency services, but you still want to make sure that you are just using the conventional method of calling 911, to the provincial call center, and giving as much information as needed."

Ways to help prevent accidental 911 calls include...

  • Locking your phone when carrying it in a purse, pocket or bag.
  • Manually dialing 911 in an emergency instead of preprogramming it in your phone.
  • Teaching your children the importance of 911, and when and when not to be used.

 

More Local News

New Look for Canadian Dollar in 2019: Will Honour Gay Rights

Joe Wickenhauser is the Executive Director of Moose Jaw PRIDE and the Saskatchewan PRIDE Network. 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the decriminalization of homosexuality in Canada. To commemorate…

SaskPower Pleased With Performance Of CCS at Boundary Dam Power Station

SaskPower’s carbon capture and storage facility at the Boundary Dam Power Station had a great year in 2018, according to their vice president of power production, Howard Matthews. The facility…

Millions for Crop Research in Saskatchewan

On Wednesday, the federal Minister of Agriculture Lawrence MacAulay and Saskatchewan Agriculture Minister David Marit announced more than $12 million in funding for forty-four crop-related research…

Humane Society Receives Big Boost With $5000 Grant

The humane society has recently received a $5000 grant from the Western Financial western community foundation. Angela Prette with the humane society was extremely happy with the amount of the grant…

Bitter Winds Sticking Around

After some balmy temperatures and days to start the new year, more traditional Saskatchewan weather has moved in for the third week of January. Cold days and even colder nights with bitter winds is…

Snowplow Safety Important For Everyone

With the lack of snowfall we've seen in the southeast corner of the province, it's easy to forget about the drivers that keep the roads clear and drivers safe. Snowplow operators are often overlooked…

Accident On 13th Ave and King Street

A two-vehicle collision took place early Wednesday morning. "At approximately 7:45 this morning, a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of 13th Avenue and King Street," explained…

The Difference Between Norovirus and Influenza Explained

Norovirus has been identified as the cause of a number of cases of nausea, diarrhea, and vomiting in the province. "Norovirus is a type of virus that affects the intestinal system," explained Doctor…

City's Proposed 2019 Budget Includes No Increase In Taxes Or Utility Rates

The city is planning some ambitious ideas for the proposed 2019 budget, but they won’t be including any higher taxes or utlility increases. The proposed budget was prepared by city administration and…

Pharmacies Running Out Of Flu Vaccine

It’s been a tough flu season in Canada and now some pharmacies in the Estevan area have been running out of the flu vaccine. Jeff Hilderman at the Estevan Pharmasave has seen his pharmacy run out of…

DiscoverEstevan.com is Estevan's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Login