New York City’s emergency communications system receives nearly 4 million accidental calls per year ad callers “butt-dial” 911 from their mobile phones.
City officials claim that 38% of the city’s 10.4 million calls to 911 during 2010 involved accidental “short calls” that lasted 19 seconds or less. In case you are keeping score that is nearly 10,700 false calls each and every single day of the year.
“Butt dialing” as it is most often referred as occurs when someone places a phone call by accident, typically when their butt, an item in their purse or another object presses on their phone and inadvertently makes a phone call.
The study was conducted by an independent consultant and was held back by Mayor Bloomberg until the firefighters unions demanded the report be made public through a long court battle.
The 3,910,373 butt calls equal more failed calls than the 3,495,716 calls in which police cars were dispatched to actual emergencies.
2011 is not looking much better, in fact that number is now up to 39% of calls as more users adapt their lives to cellular devices and in some cases carry personal and business phones on their person. According to the report:
“The increased proliferation of cellular telephones has caused a dramatic increase in the number of accidental 911 calls made.”
To put the number into comparison, in 2003 just 29% of 911 calls came from cell phones, in 2010 that number of overall calls jumped to 59%.
In the meantime the “butt dials” make NYPD first responder call center reps look good with their average total talk time of just 1:08 minutes per call thanks to 3.9 million calls that averaged just 19 seconds.
While Michael Bloomberg fought to keep the report behind closed doors he amazingly admitted on Wednesday that he had never taken the time to actually read the report.
How the city will deal with 911 butt dials is still not known and is one of the main issues brought forth by emergency responders who wanted the report released.