More people are communicating wirelessly with 60 percent of the nation’s 240 million 911 calls being placed through cell phones. This raises a concern regarding the reliability of emergency calls placed through cell phones vs. landline phones.
Landline and VoIP 911 operators are significantly more likely to find callers by determining the location of their phone. More than one-third of landline and VoIP users are located in that manner compared with only 7 percent of cell callers. Landline and VoIP 911 give the operator your home address, including an apartment number if it appears on your phone bill. With cellular, operators see only geographic coordinates.
To minimize confusion and increase response time, it is important to use the following protocol when calling 911 with a cellular phone.
1. Never assume that your location can be determined
2. State the city and address of your location
3. State the type of emergency you have
4. If disconnected from 911, call back
Note to Parents: Many younger adults and children have come to rely upon their cellular phones as their only source of telecommunications. Please make them aware of the above protocol.