Albany 911 receives false alarm calls from old cell phones - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Albany 911 receives false alarm calls from old cell phones

ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

False alarm calls sent Albany firefighters searching for fires Tuesday night.

Emergency officials believe the calls came from children using an out-of-service cell phone.

But officials warn those phones can still dial 911.

The false alarm calls put four fire trucks and battalion chiefs on the road. If there had been a real emergency at the same time, it could have slowed their response.

Here is the verbatim of the 911 calls.

Dispatcher: Albany 911, what's your emergency?

Child: Our house on fire.

Dispatcher: OK, what address do you need the fire department?

Child: A.U.V.C.

Dispatcher: OK, that's not an address. Is there a parent I could speak with?

Child: Yes, Sir.

Dispatcher: Let me speak with your parent.

Albany 911 officials tried to trace this cell phone call, but found it was out of service.

"If it is charged up, you can't use it as, to make telephone calls," noted Albany 911 Communication Center Deputy Director Jim Vaught. "But you can still punch in 911. And it will respond."

Later a second 911 call came in. Here is the verbatim:

Dispatcher: Albany 911, what is your emergency?

Child: Our.. our house on fire.

Dispatcher: Where are you?

Child: At home.

Dispatcher: Do you know your address?

Child: Yes.

Dispatcher: What's your address?

Child: 119.

Dispatcher: 119?

Child: Yes.

Dispatcher: What's the name of the street?

Child: Uh, Slappey.

Dispatcher: 119 Slappey?

Child: Yes.

Dispatcher: Who is there with you?

Child: My momma.

Someone hangs up the phone after that.

"We sent people out to different locations. And the address that the child gave did not exist. So it just takes assets out of service to respond to something that is false," said Vaught.

The cell phone calls could not be traced, and officials don't know where they came from.

But it is a crime to make false alarm calls to 911, even for kids.

Emergency officials want everyone to understand even out of service phones can still dial 911, and say to be careful when disposing them.

They also ask parents to teach children about the proper use of 911.

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