The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has seen a spike in the number of 911 misdials or pocket dials in recent months. These calls congest the 911 dispatch center and divert public safety personnel and resources from actual emergency calls.
In Gallatin County, 911 misdials are commonly received throughout the year but spike in summer and winter months when larger numbers of people come to the area to visit and recreate. This winter season the Sheriff’s Office has seen a drastic increase in accidental 911 calls. In November, the Sheriff’s Office received 107 911 misdials and 248 in December. January is on course to be as high as December, if not higher.
The majority of the 911 misdials received by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office in the winter months come from the ski slopes of Big Sky and Bridger Bowl. Skiers and snowboarders unknowingly activate the emergency call features on their cellular phones and watches while skiing and snowboarding.
Understanding how your particular cellular device works is important in order to prevent the activation of the emergency call features. It is also important to know how to properly store your device while recreating outdoors to avoid accidental misdials as cold weather can also cause the emergency features to activate and call 911.
In the event you do accidentally call 911, please stay on the phone, be courteous and answer all questions asked. This will allow dispatchers and law enforcement to quickly address and close the calls and move on to other pressing matters.