Posts tagged ‘911’

Cell Phones and 911: What You Need to Know

A recent story out of Alabama, published in the Shelby County Reporter, highlights some important information you need to know when making a 911 call from a cell phone.

First, although Jack Bauer may be able to pin point a cell phone using a radio and a stick of gum, most likely your local emergency response does not have the ability to quickly triangulate your exact position. In fact, because of the prevalence of cell phone towers, you could stand in the same place, make two calls a minute apart, and they might get picked up by two different towers. These towers may be in a neighboring town or counties, making it hard for 911 dispatchers to quickly assess exactly which agency needs to be dispatched and to what location.

Second, the problems that arise from pinpointing cell phone location require callers to know and report their exact location to 911 dispatchers. Although, in an emergency, it is easy to panic and forget or misreport your location, when you call from a cell phone, it is important to tell the dispatcher what county and city you live in, along with an exact address.

Keeping this information in mind will help emergency services locate and help you faster and easier.

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September 8, 2009 at 12:27 pm Leave a comment

Iowans Become First in the Country to Text 911

Today you can order a pizza, pay your cell phone bill, blog, and tweet by texting on your cell phone, but you cannot text 911 in an emergency—until now. Iowans in the Waterloo and Black Hawk County area of Eastern Iowa are the first citizens in the country to be able to text 911 in case of an emergency.

This new service has clear advantages for the disabled, who can now text a 911 operator instead of talking to them in case of an emergency. As well, if citizens are in an area where their cell phone signal is weak, they can send a text message, which doesn’t require as strong a signal as verbal communication.

Other law enforcement agencies are watching the Iowan experiment as they consider creating similar capability in their communities.


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August 11, 2009 at 12:02 pm Leave a comment

NY Streamlines 911 Calls

Good news for New York City residents; Government Technology just published the news that New York City is revamping its 911 call process in order to streamline the process and get responders to the scene more quickly. The article explains that the previous 911 system mainly alerted law enforcement, and if the fire department needed to be called, an extra call needed to be made and time was wasted. In the new system, the two departments are integrated, cutting down call time and response time. Read more details about the new system by clicking the link above.

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May 8, 2009 at 3:09 pm Leave a comment



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