Telephone dial-out prefix changes from “9” to “7”

Beginning April 30, the University and UNC Health Care System community must dial “7” instead of “9” to make an outside call from landlines. The change is designed to reduce misdialed or hang-up 911 calls, saving both time and money.

To give people a chance to get used to dialing “7” instead of “9,” there will be a grace period until Oct. 3, 2011 in which both numbers will work. Prior to the Oct. 3 deadline date, all fax machines and speed dial numbers which currently use the “dial 9” prefix should be changed to reflect the “dial 7” change. Any questions regarding the change can be directed to the Hospital Communications department at 966-2354.

Background on the change
Each time the University’s emergency dispatchers receive an unintentional 911 call, they have to verify that there is no true emergency. Public safety officials estimate that they receive close to 4,900 mistaken 911 calls a year at an annual cost exceeding $48,000.

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