Calling 911 from a land line phone is usually fairly simple if you can stay calm during an emergency. The dispatcher can easily pinpoint your location and send the proper authorities to help you. The same cannot be said if you are using a cell phone. While a dispatcher might be able to find your general location, calling 911 from a cell phone is significantly harder and less reliable than a land line phone if you need help immediately. At the same time, knowing the limitations of your phone will help you properly call 911 so that you can get help as soon as possible.
While the FCC has demanded that wireless carriers be able to directly pinpoint your location so that dispatchers can send help, this is a slow process for several reasons. One reason for this is because the process has been split into phases. Each phase makes it easier for dispatchers to find your location, but mobile phones are still unreliable in this respect. This is especially true if you don’t have a GPS-enabled smartphone because this hardware is typically used to find your location.
At the same time, the dispatcher will know your general location. This is because the dispatcher will see what tower is carrying your phone’s signal. This will usually tell the dispatcher what town or city you are calling from, but that’s it. Be ready to tell the dispatcher your exact location. If you don’t know where you are, then tell him or her about streets and buildings that are close to you.
Be prepared to guide the dispatcher so that the proper authorities can find and help you.
If you call 911 from a landline phone, then the call typically goes to a call center in your town or city. This means that the person knows about your area and can easily find you. This isn’t the case with a cell phone. Your call will typically go to a regional center that covers several states at once. The dispatcher you reach might know absolutely nothing about your area since he or she could be several states away.
Immediately tell the dispatcher about your location and the type of emergency that you are facing. This will help the regional office contact the nearest authorities. Be sure to tell the person what state you are in since some states have similar town and city names. Telling the dispatcher all of this information immediately will make it much easier for him or her to properly transfer your call.
One advantage of using a mobile phone is that it doesn’t matter if the phone is activated. If the phone can turn on and receive signals, then you can call 911 even if the phone doesn’t have its own number yet. This is because there are laws forcing phone manufacturers to add this feature so that you can get help in any situation.
At the same time, there is a downside to this if you aren’t careful. Sometimes a 911 dispatcher will hang up and call you back. This happens frequently if your call has to be transferred. The call might also drop for one reason or another. If the phone doesn’t have its own number yet, then there is no way for the call center to contact you. You will have to call back and start the process all over again.
Learn your state’s special number for highway accidents and incidents. Most states have a number that you can call from your mobile phone that will immediately connect you to a state office. These offices can better handle mobile calls since they are in the immediate area.
If you have 911 on speed dial, then disable this immediately. Not only is this annoying for call centers if you accidentally push the wrong button, but you can be fined several hundred dollars for misusing resources.
These call centers are prepared for mobile phones because about 30 percent of emergency calls come from a cell phone, but you must remain calm and tell the dispatcher your address. The dispatcher is unable to help if you cannot give him or her this information.
While it’s slightly harder to get emergency help if you are using a mobile phone, you can easily fix this by telling the dispatcher your address and the type of emergency that you are facing. This will ensure that you get the help that you need as soon as possible.