Mitch Finnegan, Ozarks News Brief
SPRINGFIELD – A frightening incident occurred Monday at Cox North involving a false 9-1-1 call.
9-1-1 operators must be ready for anything, even false alarms.
The first responders to any emergency reported to the Springfield 9-1-1 call center are the phone operators themselves and on Monday they received a disturbing call.
Lisa Cox, public affairs officer for Springfield Police Department, describes the resolution to the situation.
“Right around noon that 9-1-1 received a phone call saying that there was an active shooter in Cox North”
Cox says, “They found the patient, at the time, who was responsible for making the phone call. She was a patient in the ER at the time and was arrested shortly after for abuse of 9-1-1.”
It was determined that the call was false after Springfield Police Officers rushed to Cox North to evacuate patients and staff.
“In that moment obviously that is soaking up a lot of our resources. I think we had about twenty or so officers working on that incident at the time and most times through out the day we have officers non-stop call after call after call”, says Cox.
Cox says it was frustrating to know that the resources were wasted, especially with the effect it has on the city.
She says, “What that’s doing to the rest of the city is just making everybody’s response time longer.”
While Springfield crime rates and population lead to a high volume of 9-1-1 calls, Cox says what happened at the hospital on Monday is not common.
“We fortunately don’t see a ton of it. It often times does make the news when we do have it happen because it does frustrate the community, typically charges end up being filed on that person” says Cox.
The Springfield Police Department wants to remind citizens not to dial 9-1-1 unless it is a real emergency.