Maine Warns People About iPhone Feature Causing 911 False Alarms
So I'm pretty sure we have at "butt dialed" someone, somewhere, sometime. Maybe even many times. Usually no harm, no foul, right?
Now this brings to light a recent Facebook post from the Maine Department of Public Safety Communications department that has many people upset.
The issue is with 9-1-1 hang up calls and the domino effect of those calls. It appears this is mostly an Apple iPhone issue as Apple has recently added a feature that makes it easy to make an emergency call by simply holding two buttons together at the same time.
From the perspective of a person who may be in an emergency situation, this is a great, discrete feature for many emergencies. It's easy to see how this feature would be very useful for domestic type situations, or even auto accidents.
However, the Maine Department of Public Safety Communications department appears to look at it from a different perspective. Mainly from 9-1-1 calls that are coming into the dispatch centers on accident, often without even the phone owner knowing that the call was made.
When a 9-1-1 call comes into a communications center, there is a strict protocol that goes into place. The call center will attempt you call you back to assure you are ok, if they are not able to make that determination, a patrol officer is tasked with locating the person and phone to also find out if the person is OK, which can be time consuming and utilize usually limited, and already strained resources to find out if there is indeed an emergency and what it is.
The greatest drawback from this according to the the Maine Department of Public Safety Communications departments Facebook post is that it takes resources away from other potential actual emergencies. The post actually does a illustration of how to disable this feature in iPhones and encourages people to disable the feature.
This has caused quite the stir as people are obviously concerned that the value of the feature during an actual emergency, outweighs the volume of fake 9-1-1 calls that have to be dealt with.
Personally, I see both sides but I do lean on the side of one life lost from disabling this feature it too large a price to pay for the inconvenience of dealing with a 9-1-1 call that was made in error.
How do you feel about the matter?