The Grenville County OPP is asking for the public’s help with a county wide issue.

According to the OPP between January 1st and July 10th they responded to 255 unnecessary 9-1-1 calls. They say most of these calls are cell phone “pocket dials”, 9-1-1 being dialed accidentally or young people playing with phones. These unnecessary calls tie up emergency lines and can cause officers to be delayed in responding to those who need help immediately. The OPP say 9-1-1 calls are always a priority and two officers must respond to these calls to ensure the safety of the people making them.

The OPP have several points they would like the public to be aware of when it comes to using and misusing  the 9-1-1 service.

  1. When 9-1-1 is misused 9-1-1 operators are taken away from assisting people with real emergencies.
  2. 9-1-1 is for emergencies only. The OPP has phone lines for non-emergencies like noise complaints, parking complaints or incidents that took place hours or days ago.
  3. Take extra care with cell phones. Police remind the public that most modern phones have a one-button system for emergency calls. They suggest phone holsters or locking your keypad to help cut down on accidental calls.
  4. Older cell phones should not be used as toys by children. If the phone is charged, even if it is not active, it can be used to call 9-1-1.
  5. 9-1-1 should never be programmed into phones.
  6. If you accidentally dial 9-1-1 stay on the line and tell the operator it was an accident while providing all the requested information.

The OPP add that an emergency is any situation when the safety of people or property is at risk and requires immediate assistance. In non-emergency situations call the Grenville County OPP on their 24 hour toll-free line at 1-888-310-1122.