There have been several stories in the news the last few weeks about location accuracy of 911 calls made from cell phones. A recent story on KARE 11 stated that in more than half the 911 calls made from a cell phone did not show the correct location of the caller.
Earlier this month I had the opportunity to tour the Nicollet County Sherriff’s 911 Dispatch center. I was pleasantly surprised at the number of calls that came in during that early afternoon time.
As the calls came in, the supervisor explained how they 911 system works and how emergency personnel are dispatched. Then she demonstrated a 911 call with a cell phone while in the dispatch center. The location that came on the screen was from a cell phone tower about a mile away.
According to the Federal Communications Commission, 70 percent of 911 calls are made from a cell phone and that the first address to come up is a cell phone tower.
Here are some tips to help you help dispatchers find you faster in case you need to call 911 with your cell phone –
- Tell the dispatcher your location right away.
- If traveling in an unfamiliar area be observant of the mile markers along the highway, intersections, distinguishing landmarks, etc. This will help the dispatcher locate you faster.
- Give the dispatcher your cell phone number in case you get disconnected.
- Do NOT auto program 911 into your cell phone. Most phones now come with an “emergency call” option.
- Create a call list on your phone called “In Case of Emergecy” or ICE with a list of people who should be called if you’re involved in an accident.
Stephanie Hill is the Director of Marketing at River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic. The information and suggestions contained in this blog are not intended to replace advice, diagnosis or treatment of qualified medical professionals. Consult with your primary care provider before starting a new diet or fitness program.
River’s Edge Hospital & Clinic provides quality health services that value all dimensions of health including mind, body and spirit. Our goal is to improve the health of all individuals we serve through continuous, measurable improvement in patient satisfaction, clinical quality, patient safety and operational effectiveness.