Accidental 911 calls coming from Apple Watch users

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ST. CLAIR COUNTY, IL (KTVI) – It’s supposed to make calling 911 easier, but that’s part of the problem.

Some Apple Watch users are accidentally calling 911. The watch has one-button access to 911.

“It’s not just the watch,” said St. Clair County 911 Board Director Herb Simmons.

He said just one of the 911 centers in St. Clair County took nearly 16,000 accidental 911 calls in just the past 365 days. He wants anyone accidentally making a 911 call to do one thing.

“Stay on the phone,” said Simmons. He said by staying on the line, the 911 operator can quickly determine there is no emergency.

One Apple Watch user accidentally made a 911 call in St. Clair County Tuesday.

“It’s not my phone. It’s my watch,” said the caller.

She hung up and the operator had to call back to make sure everything was okay.

The caller explained, “It was my stupid watch. I’m going to turn it off now. I’m sorry.”

Simmons said accidental calls can divert resources away from true emergencies. He said another source of mistaken 911 calls come from phones no longer part of plans. He said some people don’t realize you can still call 911 from a cell phone even it’s been disconnected from service. He said some parents let kids play with their old phones and those kids dial 911.