Doing this can lead to a fine, prison time: Dodge County officials receive two "prank" 911 calls

DODGE COUNTY (WITI) -- Dodge County Sheriff Patricia Ninmann is issuing a reminder to folks about the importance of 911 and when it should be used, after two "prank" 911 calls came in on Monday, August 25th.

The first call came in around 10:00 a.m. Monday. The Dodge County Communications Center received information that a six-year-old child had called to report a fire at her home in the Town of Elba. The child apparently called the Dodge County Human Services Department, and they relayed the information to Sheriff's Office Communications Officers.

Police and fire officials were dispatched to the girl's home, where a parent confirmed there was no fire at the home.

Sheriff's officials and the City of Columbus Fire Department responded to the home, and confirmed there was no fire.

Later Monday -- just before 12:30 p.m., the Dodge County Communications Center received a prank phone call from a caller who seemed to be an elderly woman.

Sheriff's officials say the caller asked the Communications Officer for toilet paper -- asking a series of other random questions.

Sheriff's officials say it is believed this prank has been repeated at other Communications Centers.

“Citizens need to understand, as well as teach their children, the importance of 911 and when it should be utilized.  Valuable emergency resources were immediately dispatched to respond to the reported fire, taking these services away from one that may truly need them.  Also, prank calls made to the 911 Center are a drain on the resources of the public safety personnel. Prank phone calls to the center are truly a hindrance to public safety and can result in being charged with a violation of Wisconsin State Statute 256.35(10)(a) Statewide emergency services number: 'Any person who intentionally dials the telephone number 911 to report an emergency, knowing that the fact situation which he or she reports does not exist, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $600 or imprisoned not more than 90 days or both for the first offense and is guilty of a Class H felony for any other offense committed within four years after the first offense.'"