Cell Phones overload 911 in Denver

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Cell phones overload 911 in Denver "Richard J. Barbalace" Mon, 23 Jul 2001 12:22:36 -0400

The *Rocky Mountain News* reports that Denver's 911 call centers are being overwhelmed by increasing numbers of phone calls, some of which are never answered because of staffing problems. A tragedy has not happened yet, but the story suggests this is mere luck, noting a shooting in which 911 reports were ignored. One-touch 911 buttons make calling easier. Many calls now come in to report a minor accident, instead of just a few. [PGN-ed]

Then there are the calls operators receive by accident, when someone jostles their phone in their purse, pocket or on their utility belt. Construction workers, in particular, often dial 911 by mistake while leaning over guardrails to assess their work. "We can hear their entire conversation, but they can't hear us because of all the background noise," Hilburn said. "This is a really common thing for us."

The risk is making it too easy for everyone to contact help in an emergency, resulting in a type of unintentional denial of service attack.

The full article is at: http://www.insidedenver.com/drmn/local/article/0,1299,DRMN_15_755959,00.html

Richard J. Barbalace

-- Rich Marsh (marshr@airmail.net), August 03, 2001

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