Calling 911 from Cellular Phones
All calls placed to 911 from cellular phones will be routed to the closest PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). You must tell the Dispatcher the jurisdiction from which you are calling from.
Not All Wireless 9-1-1 Calls Provide Location
To get help quickly, please be prepared to answer questions when calling 911 from a cellular phone, below are questions you may be asked:
Where is the emergency?
Be sure to tell the call taker what city you are in! Use a highway name, direction of travel, mile marker, exit number, intersection, landmarks, etc to ensure we can get field responders to the emergency as soon as possible.
What number are you calling from?
Always give your area code and wireless phone number to the dispatcher and please advise them if your cell phone does not take incoming calls.
What exactly has happened?
Clearly describe what has taken place.
What is on fire?
Is the person conscious and breathing?
Type and number of vehicles involved?
If reporting a crime, vehicle and suspect descriptions are important and can make the difference in apprehension of suspects.
Dispatchers are trained to ask direct questions that will assist field responders in how they approach a scene and what safety precautions they may need to take.
Does anyone involved have any weapons?
Does anyone involved appear to be under the influence of
drugs or alcohol?
Is this a verbal or physical altercation?
How many people are involved? What are they wearing?
Depending on your cell service provider and the type of phone you own, the technology varies on how close we ‘hit’ on your location. Before you
buy a wireless phone, ask about the location technology it uses, and check to see if the 9-1-1 center (s) in your area can receive location information.
All cell phone users need to understand that many things can adversely effect this location technology.
• Calling from inside a large building or parking garage
• Calling from an area surrounded by large buildings
• Traveling in a vehicle
• Weather patterns
Other items to remember
• If your cellular phone does not have a contract for service with a wireless service provider and the call gets disconnected, you must call 911 back because the dispatcher will not have your call back number!
• Refrain from programming your phone to automatically dial 911 when a specific key is pressed. Auto dial features can inadvertently be pressed or activated which can cause problems for local dispatcher centers.
• Lock your keypad when not in use, this action also prevents accidental calls to 911.
• NEVER drive while talking or texting on your cellular phone, this can have deadly repercussions.
• If you are on the road frequently invest in a hands free device to use when driving. Be safe, be alert and stay alive!