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The Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center answers emergency and non-emergency calls for service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and dispatches the appropriate help. Besides completed calls, the center receives almost 120,000 hang-up calls per year – and that can cause problems.

If you call 911 by mistake, DO NOT HANG UP. Stay on the line and tell the dispatcher that everything is all right.

If a caller to 911 hangs up without stating the problem, the caller must be contacted to ensure that no actual emergency exists, says Dominick Nutter, director of the Raleigh-Wake Emergency Communications Center. This may involve the dispatching of a law enforcement officer to your home or place of business to ensure that there is no problem. Doing this takes up additional time for call takers and can tie up important resources that could otherwise be responding to legitimate emergencies.

One common misconception that residents have about dialing 911 by mistake is that they will get into trouble. This is not true.

What Should I Do If 911 Doesn’t Answer?

Please do not hang up if 911 doesn’t answer right away when you call. Stay on the line – your call WILL be answered.

Several 911 hang-up calls are caused by our area code, 919, being similar to the 911 emergency number. The 10- digit dialing requirement was put into place in the 919-area code in 2012 and that immediately caused an increase in the number of misdials coming into the 911 call centers in the Triangle. The issue continues to this day.

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