Service Types

If we can’t find you, we can’t help you.

When you call 9-1-1 for an emergency, you expect help quickly. But every day hundreds of people wait longer than necessary for help from police, fire or ambulance crews because responders don’t have the correct address for the emergency.

So what’s the problem?

In the past, the location of a call placed from a conventional wireline phone (phones plugged into a wall) to a 9-1-1 center was easy to determine. It was much like reading a map. The spoken word was converted into electrical impulses and sent across a phone wire to its desired location. But, as the telecommunications industry evolves, so do the challenges in providing accurate information to determine where the caller is located.

Some of the challenges

Multi-line telephone systems (MLTS) such as PBX, Key or Centrex systems, often give 9-1-1 centers only the address and phone number of a single, central location within the system. That location is frequently the “front office” and may be located in a different building, city or even a different state.

Other issues that may complicate a swift 9-1-1 response would be the use of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and wireless communication devices.

The 9-1-1 community works with telecommunications companies to ensure public safety. You can also protect your loved ones by educating them.

  • Know how to dial 9-1-1. Know whether you need to dial an extra digit first to reach an outside line.
  • Post exact location on each phone and give that information to the 9-1-1 operator.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and know the address from where you are making the call.

Follow the instructions given you by the 9-1-1 operator. If possible, meet the responders at the front door or outside your building.

Related Resources

News Release:  Wireless Industry Announcement on Improving 9-1-1 Location Accuracy 9-5-18

Text to 9-1-1 Fact Sheet