Emergency officials want you to be more aware of auto 911 call features on your phone


CONWAY, SC – (WBTW) Emergency dispatchers in Horry County are urging people to be aware of their phones automatic emergency call options.

Renee Hardwick is the Director of Horry County 911 and tells News13, she can’t put an exact number to how frequently this happens because there is currently no way to track it, but says the increasing number of auto call features are making it easier for this to occur.

Hardwick says, the most important thing you can do if you accidentally call 911 is stay on the phone.

“We get it people make mistakes,” Hardwick says. “We’re all human, just stay on the phone for a little bit so we can make sure everything is okay and then move on with the next call.”

When dispatchers receive what they believe is an accidental call, many times the caller hangs up after realizing they called 911. Dispatchers then call the number back. Hardwick says people often don’t answer when dispatchers call back because it comes from a number they don’t recognize.

“So now we call them again, and if we know their location we go as far to send a police officer to see if someone is in trouble.”

To disable the auto call feature on an iPhone:

Go to settings —> click Emergency SOS —> slide Auto Call

To disable the auto call feature on an Andriod:

Install and set up a lock screen replacement app –> Go to Settings –> click Security –> click Screen Lock –> choose “None” –> if prompted, click “Yes”

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