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

Play Video

ANTIGO - New carpet, fresh paint, and an upgraded circulation desk made for a whole new look at the Antigo Public Library.

The library closed for an entire month this fall to work on renovations. Library director Cynthia Taylor loves how the finished product turned out.

"We're delighted," said Taylor. "The staff is delighted. The patrons are really happy about it. We're really, really grateful."

+ Read More

Play Video

WOODRUFF - DISCLAIMER: Above video shows decapitated deer heads

Hunters love to show off their prize buck.

But instead of mounting your deer's head on your wall, the DNR hopes you consider tossing the heads their way. 

"I'm not afraid to get my hands dirty," said DNR wildlife biologist Michele Woodford.

+ Read More

Play Video

ANTIGO - People in Antigo always look forward to the first Wednesday in December, when dozens of cooks gather downtown for the annual Chili Cook Off.

Wednesday's event will be the 19th yearly cook off on Fifth Avenue. The cooks have their chili going all day, and sampling opens to the public at 5:30 p.m.

+ Read More

Play Video

LAC DU FLAMBEAU - Two days ago, the Army Corps of Engineers denied the easement for the Dakota Access Pipeline. But that might not end the fight.

+ Read More

Play Video

EAGLE RIVER - Christmastime usually reminds people of Christmas music, gift-giving, and spending time with family. But for Genie and Tom Gruhn, two Northwoods residents, it's the ideal chance to volunteer their time.

"We love to volunteer, and Salvation Army is such a good organization," said Genie.

+ Read More

Play Video

BOULDER JUNCTION - An interesting holiday display sits in front of a Boulder Junction taxidermy shop every year around this time. 

For the past 20 years, the display of Santa and his reindeer has sat front and center by the entrance of the American Institute of Taxidermy. Owner Dennis Rinehart made the display over 40 years ago. 

+ Read More

Play Video

MERRILL - It can take a personal connection to get people interested in helping others who are far away. One Merrill high schooler has a strong bond to people who've lost everything to wildfires. It's a way for him to help a community that once offered him support of its own.

+ Read More
+ More General News
Search: 





Click Here