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Child Playing On Phone Ties Up 911 Lines

Child Playing On Phone Ties Up 911 Lines

CREATED Mar 6, 2014

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A child playing with an old cell phone caused quite a problem at Metro Nashville's Emergency Communication Center.  The ECC received 162 false calls from the girl in less than 24 hours.

The calls started around noon Tuesday and continued until Wednesday morning. The old cell phone was deactivated but because it still had a battery, the child was able to call 911.

911 call takers made every effort to persuade the child to give the phone to an adult or provide them with her location. They later narrowed down the child's location to an apartment complex on Wallace Road.

Wednesday, a worker was able to keep the girl on the phone long enough to trace her location. Two Metro Nashville patrol officers went to the home and explained the situation to the girl's parents. 

The ECC urges parents to remove the battery before allowing children to play with old cell phones.

The center processes over 3,500 calls a day. There was no indication these 162 calls caused a delay in service to anyone with a real emergency.