Wrong emergency number sends Gillette woman more than 150 phone calls

Via the Wyoming News Exchange

GILLETTE (WNE) — “You have not reached 911. You have reached Londen,” the voicemail begins.


“This is not emergency services and please do not leave me a message,” it continues. “But have a great day.”


Londen Tabor plans on leaving the conversation-starting voicemail as is for a good long while. It’s the cherry on top of an “interesting” Tuesday she experienced when her phone number was accidentally released as an alternative dispatch contact while 911 lines were down across Campbell and Weston counties. At about 8 a.m. Tuesday, a countywide alert went out that gave different emergency service numbers in place of 911.


Tabor remembers looking at the alert and thinking something looked a little funny.


“I took a screenshot of it and then I went to Facebook to check it out and my phone rings,” she said.


The number was restricted so she declined. Then another restricted call came in and another. Tabor decided to answer her phone and a girl on the other end said something like, “I just saw to call this number.” 


It was then Tabor knew her eyes had not deceived her — her number really was one of the phone numbers given for dispatch. It was a mistake of one digit that prompted more than150 phone calls and a plethora of voicemails that filled her inbox to capacity multiple times.


David King, Campbell County Emergency Management coordinator, said the team has already added an item to their internal checklist for next time a similar emergency occurs. The plan now is to call each number to make sure each cell phone rings before releasing any phone numbers to the public.


“There are worse things in life,” Tabor  said. “That’s the key point here is, you gotta laugh about it.”


This story was published on September 23, 2023.

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