Foothills 9-1-1 is looking to educate the public to cut down on the level of accidental calls.

According to a media release sent out last week, close to 47 per cent of the calls they receive every day are accidental.

That's an estimated 180 accidental calls a day.

With modern smartphones, pocket dialing 9-1-1 doesn't happen by physically dialing the numbers.

Many phones have an Emergency Call feature that can easily be activated unintentionally.

Acting Superintendent with Foothills 9-1-1, Claire Dunn, says there are ways to prevent it.

"When we do get accidental calls, a lot of people are surprised their phone has just called into 9-1-1. We do advise people about going under their setting under "Emergency SOS" and adjusting the toggles there because a lot of people are not familiar with it."

These calls can also be triggered from other devices.

"Smartwatches and things like that, they have fall detection or crash detection. If your phone is sitting in a cup holder and the side button is being pushed down or the phone is being held down it can activate and call 9-1-1. We get a lot of skiers and joggers and stuff like that who are doing an activity, and then with a sudden stop the Apple Watch or smart watch will think you've been in an accident and call 9-1-1."

While it's sometimes easy to tell a call was accidental, that's not always the case.

"A lot of the time we can hear people laughing and having fun, so we know they're at a sporting event or having fun with friends, but there are those ones we're not too sure about, so we do transfer them to RCMP for further investigation," says Dunn.

They recommend adjusting emergency call settings:


1. Open settings

2. Select “Emergency SOS”

3. Adjust settings as desired.


1. Open settings

2. Select “Safety & Emergency”

3. Select “Emergency SOS”

4. Adjust settings as desired.

Foothills 9-1-1 also included tips to prevent accidental calls.

Tips for preventing accidental 9-1-1 calls:

1. Lock and store your cellphone carefully whenever it’s not in use.

2. Know and understand the features on your cellphone and smartwatch. If you have “fall detection” or Emergency SOS functions enabled, become familiar with how they are triggered.

3. Do not let children play with old cell phones. Even unregistered phones can call 9-1-1.

4. Do not program 9-1-1 into your phone.


In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, HighRiverOnline and OkotokOnline encourage you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the HighRiverOnline or OkotoksOnline app.