Lewis Co. Sheriff Responds to "False" 911 CallsPosted: Updated:
You hear it over and over again. Don't call 911 unless it's an emergency.
That's what the people at the dispatch centers are experts in, dealing with emergencies big and small.
However, Lewis County Sheriff Mike Carpinelli will tell you, Lewis County 911 center has handled some oddball calls lately.
There was the case of Kayla Gifford. A good samaritan called 911 on her behalf when she allegedly claimed that she had difficulty breathing. When she was taken to an emergency room, she told police that she made it up because she wanted a free ambulance ride to Utica to visit her boyfriend.
"When you falsely report an emergency to 911, you are tying up resources that could be used in other places that are needed for a serious or true matter - not one that's false," Carpinelli said.
Then there's Ryan Noftsier. He allegedly called 911 16 times one night because he was upset his friend crashed his car.
"99 percent of his story was false - it was incorrect - he had overwhelmed them with phone calls, there was a lot of false information given, obviously, and sent people in different directions," said Carpinelli.
However, the sheriff said the crimes were unrelated and don't indicate that there has been a rise in falsely reporting emergencies in the area.
It's not like there's a plague of fake emergencies hitting Lewis County's 911, but it is a nuisance at least and if a fake call comes in at the wrong time, officials say it can tie up emergency crews who may need to help someone who really needs it.