911 Call Routed To East Texas Man - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

9/29/03

911 Call Routed To East Texas Man

It's a scary situation, and it could happen to you. You find yourself in an emergency, you dial 911 with your cell phone but you get a random number.

That’s just what happened to East Texan Rick Wheeler. Rick was having a casual lunch with his wife Sunday, when he got a call he says he'll never forget.

"After I ordered the food, we were just sitting there chatting and my phone rang," he said. "I looked at the caller ID, I didn't recognized the number, and I answered the phone and he said 911 and I said no and he hung up"

The call was apparently made from another cell phone, the caller, in need of immediate assistance. But instead of getting 911, he got Rick, who fortunately was able to call for help.

Local 911 administrator Jan Funderburgh says the system is set up so callers are transferred to the closest possible tower.

"You should see no difference," she said. "Your cell phone should hit your companies closest tower or another companies tower, everything should be pre-programmed inside the tower to go to a correct answering point."

This situation is uncommon, but emergency administrators say if this happens to you, hang up and dial zero for the operator. They will connect you to 911.

Chris Gibson reporting

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