LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Reports of inadvertent calls to 9-1-1 from smart watches are on the uptick. Emergency dispatchers deal with a lot trying to get people the help they need. They get hundreds of calls each day.
People wearing smart watches may be trying to advance their lives, but dispatchers around the country are reporting accidental calls that are tying up valuable resources at 9-1-1 call centers.
Smart watch wearers may not realize that they touched something to dial the call. Often after realizing it’s happened, they’ll just hang up. When they do that, dispatchers end up following up on the call and are obligated to find the person and get help to them, thinking there may have been an emergency.
"If we are not able to call the phone back or not able to clearly identify what's going on, we will have to send an officer out to that location,” Kent McKenzie from the Lake County, IL Sheriff’s Department said.
Making an emergency call on a smart watch is very easy to do. All you do is hold down a bottom button for a few seconds and an emergency screen comes up.
You can disable the automatic dialing feature on Apple Watches by going into the settings. If you do accidentally call 9-1-1, stay on the line. That will help reduce the extra workload and phone tag back and forth trying to figure out what the emergency is.