Undoubtedly, one of the most important advantages to owning a cell phone is the ability to use it in emergency situations. It is very easy to report traffic accidents and other emergencies when not near a traditional land line phone. However, there are several issues with cell phones and their impact on 9-1-1 to consider.
Can I call 9-1-1 from my cell phone?
Yes, but is it not the same as calling for a land line phone. When you call 9-1-1 from a cell phone, you will be connected to a 9-1-1 center, but it might be the wrong one.
Be prepared to give your location and the City or County if needed. You may get a dispatcher in a bordering County who may not recognize the area you are in.
Can they tell my location when I call 9-1-1?
CCECD 9-1-1 District has digital mapping equipment and software capable of displaying wireless location and data on a map. But it is important for all citizens to remember that although location technology has been implemented, callers must continue to provide location information to the 9-1-1 call takers. If you have an outdated phone, your location information may not be received by the 9-1-1 call taker.
The Federal Communications Commission Ruling
Because people use cell phones as a primary emergency source, the FCC has ruled that wireless telephones must begin providing 9-1-1 service similar to wired phones.
Wireless phones must provide the tower address that is receiving their signal and the phone number to the 9-1-1 center. This will help narrow down your location and provide a call back number in case the connection is lost.
Wireless phones must also provide a location within 125 meters 67% of the time. This will be a great improvement and will bring wireless telephones up to a comparable standard with wired phones. Still, your ability to describe your location will be very helpful.