Maine issues warning after rash of fake 911 calls

Posted Dec. 23, 2009, at 10:11 a.m.

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Public Utilities Commission is warning parents not to let children play with old cell phones to avoid phony 911 calls.

The commission says snow and vacation days seem to spawn false 911 calls often made by children playing with out-of-date cell phones given to them by well-meaning parents.

Spokeswoman Evelyn deFrees says parents should know that all cell phones — including those that have been deactivated — are still capable of dialing 911 to alert emergency officials.

She says that on the first snow day in early December that the Department of Public Safety’s communications center in Gray received 58 emergency calls from one child at home playing with an old cell phone.

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