Gaston Co officials: There are consequences of prank calling 911

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - Authorities in Gaston County say prank 911 calls are a major concern. People are calling in, either fabricating stories or calling for non-emergency issues.

It may sound funny to some, but officials aren't laughing. These calls are costing them time and resources.

Brittany Duran called 911 over the weekend frantically claiming to operators that her family had been kidnapped. The conversation went on for more than five minutes, but officials say the entire story turned out not to be true.

Duran is now in Gaston County Jail on a $101,000 secured bond for misuse of the 911 system.

"It's not a good thing," says James Wilson, supervisor for Gaston County Communications Center.

Wilson says pranks call to operators are nothing to laugh at.

"It takes away from our ability to answer the other incoming lines."

All calls are treated the same and operators never know what's happening on the other line. Any call could be a matter of life or death.

"A roll of the dice," Wilson said. "It's a gamble."

Those who work to save lives are usually working against the clock. Wilson has a message he wants to make very clear: only dial 911 if you truly need assistance.

"Every phone call that we answer that's not an emergency, there's an opportunity there or chance that we're unable to answer a call in a timely manner that is an emergency."?

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