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'Butt dials' stinking things up for 911 dispatchers in Louisiana

The high number of accidental calls that Baton Rouge dispatchers deal with is affecting their ability to respond to real emergencies.
By Evan Bleier   |   July 23, 2014 at 4:01 PM   |   Comments

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BATON ROUGE, La., July 23 (UPI) -- Louisiana emergency dispatchers have been dealing with a lot of non-emergency calls because of people "butt dialing" emergency call centers.

Accidental phone calls thanks to Baton Rouge residents' rear ends have been flooding into 911 call centers with increasing regularity over the past few years.

East Baton Rouge Parish reportedly averages between 30 and 35 "butt dials" an hour.

"The amount that is happening is sort of unheard of," EMS Public Information Officer Mike Chustz told WBRZ. "It's becoming a huge problem for our employees that work here."

The increase is blamed on new tech advances like touch screens and emergency modes.

Dispatchers are required to call back every call to make sure it was an accident, a policy that sometimes leads to employees spending up to 30 minutes on non-emergencies.

"A big majority of them are accidental and we're not needed," Chustz said. "But we don't know that during the call, we have to verify that. And sometimes it can take three, four, 10 times to get that person back on the line."

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