Authorities urge Iowa parents to keep cell phones out of their kids’ hands and to take action if they learn those phones are being misused. The Winnebago County 911 call center received nearly a dozen prank calls on Monday and Tuesday, with dispatchers hearing a small child’s voice on the other end of the phone, giggling and repeating the dispatcher’s words.
One time, the child said they needed a fire truck, but then the child said, no, they were just kidding. Authorities were able to trace the calls, which were placed on a prepaid phone that was disconnected, leading officers to believe that a parent gave the phone to a child to play with, not realizing the phones while disconnected still are able to dial 911.
State emergency authorities say they take the disruption to the 911 system seriously and while the calls are fun and games to children, they can interrupt real life and death emergency calls.
(Reporting by Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City)