Special Report: Outrageous 911 Calls
The 911 system is for emergencies. But local officials say it's often tied up with bogus calls. Every time someone calls 911, fire and EMS are obligated to respond despite the fact that many of those calls are for minor problems. It's costing both time and money.
Buncombe County EOC Director Jerry Vehaun says tax payers eat the cost of non-emergency calls. And there's really no way to stop it.
"It's not as bad as it once was, but we still get some of that where people maybe have a headache, sprained their toe. They call us and want us to send an ambulance. Quite frankly it's because they don't have taxi money. Really think about is this a safety issue, medical issue, need to tie up very valuable resources for," said Vehaun.
The fire department says they don't want to discourage anyone from calling for help, but callers need to use common sense.
People who make too many fake 911 calls can be arrested and charged with a crime.