It's a situation many of us have experienced before: you reach into your pocket to grab your phone, and realize that you've accidentally called someone. But what happens when you accidentally dial 911? It happens more often than you think.
"It doesn't seem like a big deal, but its huge, and it taps our resources and there's no reason for it most of the time," said Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin.
In the last year the Gallatin County Sheriff's Department received about 1,400 total 911 hang up calls. But only about five percent of those calls turned out to be actual emergencies.
The other 95 percent tied up dispatchers and sent officers rushing somewhere they weren't needed.
"We're always going to send someone and they will almost always go, but it wears on you," said Kerry O'Connell, the Assistant Director of Gallatin County 911 Communications.
They have to assume the worst in case someone is having an emergency and called 911 but is unable to speak.
For the most part these accidental calls cost the departments time, money, and manpower.
At times the sheriff's office only has two deputies on duty for the entire valley.
"That takes them away from either working traffic, getting in the neighborhoods, checking businesses," Sheriff Gootkin said.
"It takes us time and it ties up at least one dispatcher that would prevent that person from taking those emergency calls that could be coming in," said O'Connell.
If you accidentally dial 911, dispatchers say stay on the line, wait for them to call you back, or call the non-emergency line at 582-2000 to let them know you are ok.
"Educate your people, be careful of your speed dial, make sure that your kids understand that it's very, very important and it could help us in the long run," said Sheriff Gootkin.
The Bozeman Police Department says from May 1st, 2011 to May 1st of this year they received 948 total 911 hang up calls. As recent as April 21st of this year to now the Flathead County Sheriff's Department has gotten 250 hang up calls. Butte-Silver Bow County receives roughly 30,000 calls per year, and three percent of those are hang ups.