Letters ID biggest 911 misdial culprits

Posted May 9, 2013

— More than a year after 10-digit dialing came to the Triangle, people are still making so many mistakes that the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center has begun to identify some of the worst offenders. 

The similarity between dialing 911 and dialing the 919 area code to initiate each call is well-documented, with accidental calls to the emergency number up 20 percent since the switch.

To help cut down those misdials, the director of the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center plans to send letters Thursday to businesses that have a high number of errant 911 calls. 

“It is not our intent to call someone out or to embarrass them but rather to start a one-on-one conversation that may lead to gaining control of what is clearly a serious public safety concern,” said Barry Furey, director of the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center.


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  • dcatz May 10, 2013

    "I think the problem might be solved if 911 could not be called IF a fourth digit were dialed and that triggered a stop to 911."

    That behavior exists for a reason. In an emergency, you may be fumbling around for the phone and you don't want it to not dial 911 if someone accidentally dials another number.

  • VW girl 2013 May 10, 2013

    The problem is when people mis-dial and then hang-up. I mis-dialed once and I just waited for the operator to answer, told her I mis-dialed and she said ok and I said ok and we hung up. No follow up needed to waste the police's time. It's when you hang up on the mis-dial that they MUST check it out to be sure it isn't an emergency. Have common sense and just say you're sorry and it will be fine. Then, just be more careful.

  • jayb8408 May 10, 2013

    Next, they will start charging for the mistakes.. NC knew this was going to happen, so they can profit from it.. These mistakes were a part of their plan all along.. Go back to dialing without 919, or change it to something else!

  • djofraleigh May 10, 2013

    I think the problem might be solved if 911 could not be called IF a fourth digit were dialed and that triggered a stop to 911.

    Right now, if you dial 911 555 1234, the emergency center will answer. These are not "b*tt" calls, but digit entry errors. in the process of dialing 919 the one gets hit twice, or by mistake. Some will call 911 when meaning to call 411, and vice versa. It's not just old people making errors.

  • djofraleigh May 10, 2013

    Why not just simply change the 919 area code to something else? -- comment

    Not simple: the economic impact, and personal hardship of changing all the printed, web, and phone book or address book would be staggering.

  • Paynattention May 10, 2013

    In one state office building if you are calling long distance and dial 9 for outside line and 1 for long distance and hesitate for more than a second it automatically dials 911.

  • Six String May 10, 2013

    It isn't that hard to goof this up, especially with the newer digital phones. In trying to dial 919, sometimes if a finger lingers on the "1" a little too long, it will enter twice, then the deed is done and you can't undo it. You may not even know it happens until the police show up. I'm also ashamed to say it happened to me and I had no clue it did, because I did not hang up, just continued on to the next "9" and the call went through. It would be costly to all to change the 919 A/C, but all of these police visits are not cheap either.

  • Black HelicoptersNFood Insurance May 10, 2013

    Another mindless partisan weighs in on WRAL.-imback

    People might take you seriously if you actually tried to intelligently discuss a topic and did not simply resort to insults like a run of the mill “troll.”

    (Sound familiar?)

  • WorkinMom May 10, 2013

    It's a very easy mistake to make, trust me. I am embarrassed to say I have done it twice with a police visit/follow-up both times. Thank you to the RPD for following up on each and every one of never know when your life may be at stake!

  • TeresaBee May 10, 2013

    Well since it would cost companies to much heartache to get a different area code then maybe new numbers for residents and businesses from now on should always get the new area code 984. Even though it will take time, eventually there will be less 919 area codes.