Loading
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
What We're Working OnSubmitted: 04/29/2016

- Local schools have stepped up to show their support for the Antigo community after last weekend's prom shooting. We'll show you what that effort looks like at Lakeland.

- Plus, a local greenhouse that was destroyed by a tornado in 2011 and was rebuilt is celebrating it's20th anniversary. We'll take you to the celebration.

We'll have the details on this story and more tonight on Newswatch 12 - news from where you live.

+ Read More

WISCONSIN RAPIDS - We now know who were the three people killed during Wednesday's double-murder suicide in Wisconsin Rapids.

The Wisconsin Rapids Police Department says  36-year-old Justin Bohn of Wisconsin Rapids shot and killed his 5-year-old daughter, Paige, and his 3-year-old son, Devon.



+ Read More

MADISON - Wisconsin's attorney general has asked an appellate court for an emergency stay of a Dane County judge's ruling striking down the state's right-to-work law.

Brad Schimel says Judge William Foust's ruling has created confusion and should be put on hold while an appeal is pending.

+ Read More

VILAS COUNTY - Vilas County will need to fill a vacancy soon at the district attorney's office.

The current DA, Al Moustakis, has filed paperwork showing that he won't run for re-election.

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - Five years ago, the tornado in Merrill destroyed Zoellner's Greenhouse.

"They all went down," says April Zoellner.

But the Zoellner family didn't give up. The family was able to rebuild thanks to help from the community.

+ Read More

RHINELANDER - Making sure nearly 400 families get enough to eat each month takes a lot of resources.

That's why the Rhinelander Area Food Pantry hopes a new spring fundraiser will help.

+ Read More

Play Video

ONEIDA COUNTY - Just over a week ago more than 10 different agencies rushed out to rural western Oneida County to deal with a man threatening to blow up his house.

When crews got there, 60-year-old Kenneth Welsh was sitting on his porch with a long gun. He held up police up in a standoff for the next three hours.

Last week he was charged with attempted first-degree homicide along with other felonies.

Welsh appeared in court Friday to hear the judge's decision regarding whether the prosecution has presented enough evidence to move forward with the case against him.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 




Click Here