Old Cell Phone, New Purpose

By: Victoria Rosa Email
By: Victoria Rosa Email

What people may not know is even if you have a disconnected cell phone, that phone can still call 911.

And that call, might save a life.

"Certain cell phone carriers will have their cell tower set up to where it's able to transmit a 911 call to law enforcement, " says Public Information Officer Maurice Eggleston.

According to the Federal Communications Commission, wireless service providers must transmit all 911 calls whether the phone is subscribed to their services or not.

"We use them for shelter clients and out of shelter clients because any fully charged cell phone can dial 911 in case of an emergency...This has helped alot of our clients who may be are driving and don't have a cell phone and if they're being followed, they can dial 911 and get the help they need, " says Remona Nall, Shelter Coordinator at The House Of Ruth.

"We want to make sure that everyone can get the same emergency service, where no one is left out," says Eggleston.

Local retailers say collecting donated cell phones and giving them to causes, like the House Of Ruth, is one way they can give back to the community.

"There's probably a lot of phones sitting in the drawers, like even old Allltell phones, phones of companies that aren't even around anymore so these phones would have a great use for helping people in that case, " says Allen Sands, Owner of Wiregrass Wireless.

They've already proved useful in a dangerous situation.

"We've had one lady that worked out in a warehouse and nobody was around when she was working and he showed up. Fortunately she had that phone to be able to dial 911 to go ahead and get help immediately, " says Nall.

Law enforcement says to avoid giving old cell phones to younger children to assure that they don't call 911 on accident.

There are many outlets for your old phone.

Most cell phone retailers, churches, and of course the House Of Ruth are all options.

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