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by Peter Moskos

October 5, 2015

Butt dials 30% of mobile calls to 911 in S.F.

The BBC:
When the researchers [in San Francisco] sat by the call handlers and noted down what was happening - they found 30% of calls coming in from mobiles were accidental butt-dials, also known as pocket-dials.

As well as being time-consuming taking the call, the impact of butt-dials doesn't stop there.

Each one requires further attention - after all, the 911 handler doesn't know if it was a mistake, or someone trying to call for help but unable to talk at that point.

And so, all butt-dials are followed up. In the sample period, it took an average of one minute and 14 seconds to get back to people and determine the call was a mistake.

In a survey of handlers at the San Francisco 911 centre, 80% said chasing these calls back was a time-consuming part of their already overstretched day.

About 39% said it was the single biggest "pain point" they had in the job.

1 comment:

David Woycechowsky said...

I was going to say that there needs to be a butt dial emoji (because who doesn't love emoji's, right?), but I see that someone on the twitters (who doesn't love TWITTER, right?) had the idea a year ago.

When my mother was dying, we were trying to set up her Life Alert type thingee so that it would not call 911. I ended up calling 911 twice accidentally during the process. Thankfully, we got it sorted out on the phone and nobody felt they had to come out and do a welfare check.