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Cellular tips: Pocket dials + texting 911

Every day the Foothills Regional 911 Centre receives anywhere from 50 to 150 hang up calls or pocket dial calls. A vast majority of the pocket dials received are from IPhones with the Emergency SOS (Auto Call) turned on. When this feature is on 911 is dialed when the side or top button on your phones is pressed multiple times, this is easily done while the phone is sitting in a cup holder or in someone’s pocket.

Turn off Auto Call

When Auto Call is on and you try to make an emergency call, your iPhone begins a countdown and sounds an alert. After the countdown ends, your iPhone automatically calls emergency services.

Here's how to change the setting:

  1. Open the Settings app on your iPhone.

  2. Tap Emergency SOS.

  3. Turn Auto Call on or off.

If you turn off this setting, you can still use the Emergency SOS slider to make a call.

Calling 9-1-1 From a Cellular Phone

When you call from a cell phone, the 911 Emergency Dispatchers cannot find your location as quickly as when you call from a landline.

Know your physical location and tell the 911 Emergency Dispatcher where you are. If you are unsure of your address, provide directions using landmarks.

Do not text or tweet 911. Dial 911 in an emergency.

Text with 9-1-1

Text with 9-1-1 is now available for anyone needing 911 in the Foothills Regional 911 service area who are deaf, deafened, have hearing loss or speech impairments. Text with 911 allows individuals with communication challenges to communicate with 911 using mobile devices.

How to use Text with 911:

  • Individuals who are communication challenged must pre-register their mobile phone number by contacting their wireless provider directly.

  • Dial 911 when you need 911. A call to 911 must always be placed first before any texting can occur.

  • When a 911 call comes from a registered phone, 911 emergency dispatchers are immediately notified and can begin a texting conversation with the caller.


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