Loading

76°F

75°F

77°F

74°F

75°F

77°F

80°F

74°F

74°F

80°F

77°F

78°F
Search
NEWS STORIES

Lincoln County sees spike in fake emergency callsSubmitted: 04/10/2013

Lane Kimble
Managing Editor/Anchor
lkimble@wjfw.com

MERRILL - Plenty of kids will experiment with 911 once or twice even if they're not in danger. Most learn their lesson after one time and don't do it again. But 117 prank calls in 6 months from one kid? That's out of control.

"The most recent was a 'man with a gun' call where there was an active shooter allegedly involved in the city of Tomahawk," Lincoln County Sheriff's Lt. Tim Fischer said. "We had to send many resources, lights and sirens to the scene until we realized it was our prank caller."

But it's not just a kid in Tomahawk making those calls. The number of fake 911 calls is going up, tripling in Lincoln County over the last 10 years. In 2012, the county logged 1619 fake calls, averaging 4.4 per day. Lt. Fischer says that causes several safety issues.

"Our squad cars are going lights and sirens, they're typically exceeding the speed limit, greater risks while driving. What people don't think about is if we're responding to a prank 911 call, we might not be available for the real one that's coming in right behind it," Fischer said.

Prank calls are only one piece of the puzzle. A vast majority of fake dials come from pocket dials -- where phone buttons get pushed accidentally in your pocket or purse.

And what about your old cell phones? It can be easy to give them to your kids to play with. Rhinelander Team Wireless store manager Tim Antoniewicz says that should be avoided.

"If you do still want to give your phones to your kids to play with, you're going to want to remove the battery to make it non-functional so it can't dial 911," Antoniewicz said.

That's one call Lt. Fischer hopes all parents decide to make for their kids.

"If you want to play with 911, get a play phone, get a plastic phone, hit 911, learn where those buttons are," Fischer said. "But don't call us to see if it's going to happen."

Text Size: + Increase | Decrease -
Print Story | Email Story
Sponsored in part by HodagSports.com





 IN OTHER NEWS

Play Video

MADISON - People with five, seven, or even ten or more OWI convictions in Wisconsin usually serve time in jail or even in prison.  But they could be driving again soon after they get out.

Wisconsin law allows a person convicted of an OWI to get an occupational license for traveling to places such as work or church within 45 days after their release. But some lawmakers think that policy could lead to serious trouble.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - The Northwoods makes a great setting for all different kinds of scientific research.

Summer is the busiest time for some researchers at the UW Trout Lake Station, but they took time Friday to hold an open house to show off their research projects.

+ Read More

Play Video

RHINELANDER - A 16-year-old male crashed into an electric pole just east of Rhinelander this morning.

+ Read More

Play Video

WAUSAU - Some veterans worry the community will forget war memories as time goes on.

The Montgomery, Plant, Dudley American Legion Post 10 in Wausau wants to remember one group of U.S. allies in the Vietnam War.

That's the Hmong community in Wausau.

"They hunted the Hmong like animals," said Xeng Xiong, a Hmong veteran living in Wausau.

That's how he described living in Laos once his country fell to communism in 1975.

"So they tried everything to kill Hmong men, Hmong soldiers," Xiong said.

Xiong is one of the many Hmong who escaped to the US after the Vietnam War. As a Hmong, he was targeted by the communist government for his involvement with the US.

"They hated the Hmong people because they labeled Hmong men as the number one enemy who supported United States," Xiong said. 

+ Read More

MADISON - New federal filings show a super PAC supporting Gov. Scott Walker's bid for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination has raised a little more than $20 million over the first 11 weeks or so of its existence

+ Read More

ONEIDA COUNTY - Invasive species specialists work hard to protect our lakes, but a few areas in Oneida County aren't doing as well as they'd like.

Aquatic experts have found invasive species in four new Oneida County lakes this summer. It's not a great sign, but it also isn't like years ago when someone might find acres of an invasive. However, it's still an issue.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - The boat looks like something from a science fiction movie as it creeps across Northwoods lakes at night.

Its long arms jut into the water, sending electrical pulses into the lake.

Under a nearly-full moon on a warm July night, it motors across Sparkling Lake in Vilas County.

"We can actually sneak up on them in the evenings, when it's dark out," says Dr. Noah Lottig, who's driving the boat. "They're up there, they don't see us coming, and we can sneak up on them."

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here