Cell phones for emergencies only available to seniors

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MASON CITY, IA – When you’re in an emergency the fastest way to get help, is to call 911, which is a good reason to have a cell phone.

Sheriff’s offices in some Iowa counties as well as programs around the state are providing cell phones for those 55 and older that can only be used in emergencies.

The phone will only call 911 and is not hooked up with a provider.

We talked to Cerro Gordo Dispatcher, Heather Hahn, who says the programs are great, but there are some downfalls.

“We can’t ever call it back. Which ends up being a negative once in a while because we can’t call it back, so if we think there is a problem and it’s been disconnected, we have no way of getting back in touch with them.”

But overall, she says the positives outweigh the negatives.

“A lot of older people still have residential lines; where as a lot of younger people don’t have that anymore. But if they can’t get to that and they have a cell phone closer or if they’re in the car and start having a medical issue of some sort, then they can use it.”

If you’d like to apply for a free cell phone, we’ve set up a link under the “Links We Mentioned” tab.

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