ROCKFORD (WIFR) -- Some local 911 call center employees are being distracted with unnecessary phone calls. People are using 911 to complain about loud dogs and sometimes ask silly questions.
The Rockford Fire Department says every time callers misue the emergency line they could be preventing someone's life from being saved.
Rockford's 911 center takes the city's 911 and non-emergency calls but roughly 30 percent of the time people Rockford are abusing the number pulling operators away from more urgent calls. The United Way of Rock River Valley provides the county with a 211 call line were we call to get info on social services.
"That's a free information referral line," says United Way's Roman Salamon. "We're asking people to call when they're needing help or even when they're looking for help"
"It is a great resource," says Rockford Fire Chief Derek Bergsten. "We're continuing to educate our personnel to pass that information to citizens of when they should call 211."
The city says you're not alone when it comes to being confused about what numbers to call when you need help which is why they're producing a public service announcement they're hoping to release soon.