Communications Services

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Communications Services

Explore E9-1-1

Pocket Dial Campaign

When people call 9-1-1, they have an emergency. They expect an immediate response. That immediate response is being endangered by pocket-dialling, where unintentional 9-1-1 calls are made while a cell phone is in a pocket, purse, or knapsack or when you dial 9-1-1 in error.

It's a serious problem. In 2011, approximately 18% of all 9-1-1 calls in Toronto were pocket-dials and misdials. Every pocket-dialled call must be taken seriously by a highly trained emergency communications operator, until it can be proved the call was not an emergency. That can take several minutes. Every time that happens, there can be a delay in answering a 9-1-1 call from someone with a genuine emergency.

Teach your kids when to call 9-1-1 video on YouTube
Released March 9th, 2012

If you have misdialled 9-1-1, stay on phone and speak to the emergency operator, letting them know you do not need assistance. When a 9-1-1 caller does not respond or hangs up, it could be a sign of trouble - a possibility an emergency operator can't ignore.

You can reduce unnecessary pressure on the 9-1-1 emergency service by:

  • Locking the keypad on your cell phone
  • Putting your device in standby mode
  • Not programming 9-1-1 into your phone
  • Not allowing children to play with cell phones
  • Stay on the line and speak to an operator if you misdial 9-1-1

Each device is different. Learn how to prevent calls that endanger the immediate response of the emergency services.

Over 2,000,000 calls in total, both 9-1-1 and non-emergency 416-808-2222 calls, were placed to the Communications Services call centre in Toronto in 2011. That is a 7% increase in call volume since 2010. Of the over two million calls made, 1,227,000 were placed to 9-1-1 directly.

Last year, in Toronto, 107,000 pocket-dials were made and 116,000 calls to 9-1-1 were misdials. That is over 18% of the overall 9-1-1 call volume.


Just Like They Say in the News video on YouTube
Released February 9th, 2012

Lock it Before you Pocket - 911 Public Lifeline video on YouTube
Released January 9th, 2012

Lock it Before you Pocket - 911 Over 2100 Pocket Dials video on YouTube
Released January 9th, 2012