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Chris P
03-26-2010, 06:23 PM
What happens if you are traveling and dial 911 from your cell phone? Do you get the 911 service where you are, or do you get the service in the area associated with your number?

CheekyWench
03-26-2010, 06:24 PM
Around here, it bounces off the nearest cell tower to the closest 911 center. My county 911 will verify what county you're calling from and transfer if it is needed. (I live close to the county line, so it's been known to cross over.)

DeleyanLee
03-26-2010, 06:35 PM
I have a pay-as-I-go service (which I adore). When I've had to call 911, I got the Sprint operator who did the "GM On-Star" thing and patched me into the local 911 wherever I happen to be and then confirmed that I had help coming before hanging up.

Mac H.
03-26-2010, 07:07 PM
It's even smarter than that.

The emergency number in Australia is 000 ... not 911.

Yet if you dial 911 on an American mobile phone in Australia it will still patch it through to the local 000.

Even 112 & 999 work - which correspond to other country's emergency codes!

In the USA, FCC rules require all networks to route **EVERY ** phone to the relevant emergency call center .. including cell phones that don't have SIM cards and land lines that have been disconnected for not paying bills.

The emergency call routing .... even for people who haven't paid their bills is one of the great things our human civilisation can be proud of.

Mac

Kitty Pryde
03-26-2010, 08:34 PM
In the US, when you dial 911 on a cell phone it blurts out this really loud oo-WEE-oo! siren noise before it connects you. I think it's required by law? I don't know why. I know it was criticized because it's a terrible feature if you are ever hiding/being threatened by someone and you need to dial 911 secretly. Anyways, and in some places the operators can tell your exact location when you call.

DeleyanLee
03-26-2010, 08:36 PM
In the US, when you dial 911 on a cell phone it blurts out this really loud oo-WEE-oo! siren noise before it connects you. I think it's required by law? I don't know why. I know it was criticized because it's a terrible feature if you are ever hiding/being threatened by someone and you need to dial 911 secretly. Anyways, and in some places the operators can tell your exact location when you call.

I've never experienced this and I've called 911 in 3 states (MI, OH & PA). Weird. Maybe it's a state/local thing?

Most cell phones in use today (not including the real old ones, if there's any) have GPS so it can be located in case of emergency.

Kitty Pryde
03-26-2010, 08:39 PM
I've never experienced this and I've called 911 in 3 states (MI, OH & PA). Weird. Maybe it's a state/local thing?

Most cell phones in use today (not including the real old ones, if there's any) have GPS so it can be located in case of emergency.

Oh! Maybe it's only in California...

ETA: No, it's a federal law:


"An Austin woman who dialed 911 recently discovered what she said could be a fatal flaw in some new cell phones. She called for help when she arrived at some vacant property she owns in east Austin and found her security chain gone. She grabbed her new Verizon Wireless Casio G'zOne phone, which to her horror made an audible alarm when she called 911. Fearing vandals were still on the property, she hung up and hid, then put her hand over the earpiece and dialed again to muffle the sounds. A Verizon Wireless spokesperson says it's mandatory according to Section 255 of the Telecommunications Act. The FCC says Section 255 of the Telecommunications Code requires that phones let a caller know a 911 call is underway, but does not require an audible alarm.

Some company's phones have the alarm, and some don't, I guess.

Keyan
03-27-2010, 08:24 AM
You may be right that it's a cellphone thing. I've dialled 911 three times in CA, and never encountered it. I was on Verizon the first 2 times, and ATT/ Cingular the next.

Williebee
03-27-2010, 08:32 AM
Some phones do have an alarm tone, on a couple models (Nokia, I think??) it indicates that the phone has been "locked" and will only dial 911 until it has been "unlocked".

The system, and back when I was working 911 most of it routed through some place in Arizona I think, is designed to give you the 911 call center closest to your geographic location.

It does not always work that way. On a few rare instances I answered a call and got a caller hundreds of miles away. At that point, standard procedure was to look up the appropriate call center and transfer the call. Loss time of a few seconds.

Smiling Ted
03-27-2010, 08:33 AM
I also dialed 911 in LA, and never encountered that noise.
I was also told that, depending on location (freeway or surface street, for instance) the call might be routed to the California Highway Patrol or the local LAPD.

Smish
03-27-2010, 08:39 AM
I had to call 911 while driving once. Unfortunately, I was in the middle of nowhere and didn't have cell phone service. When I finally got a signal, I was able to get through (and experienced no loud siren noise with my phone. I believe I had a Motorola phone and T-Mobile service at the time).

Mac H.
03-27-2010, 10:46 AM
The 'alarm tone when ringing 911' was an idiotic decision of Verizon - it was never a federal law requirement.

The FCC rule was simply that the phone would indicate that an emergency call was in progress. Nobody else on the planet decided that the rule meant 'play an alarm tone so everyone else knows you are there'.

(The FCC rule makes sense - if you put 911 in your phonebook under 'Mother', it should display something that tells the user that an emergency call is in progress - not just the phone book entry 'Mother'.)

According to this (http://www.komonews.com/news/15752097.html) article, Verizon now decided to remove their idiotic feature.


Mac

Tsu Dho Nimh
03-27-2010, 11:21 PM
What happens if you are traveling and dial 911 from your cell phone? Do you get the 911 service where you are, or do you get the service in the area associated with your number?

You get the closest one, even if you are three states away. The only problem is that you seldom know exactly where you are in a strange state.

TRUE STORY: house-mate's son didn't realize that if he called 9-1-1 he would get the local call center for the town where he was going to college, not the one in Phoenix ... so at 3AM we get a frantic call asking us to call the cops in New Mexico because his drunk roomate was playing chicken with cars on the freeway and had to be tackled and sat upon.

It took several minutes for us to convince him that 9-1-1 was magic and would get the police he needed.

ChristineR
03-28-2010, 07:35 PM
Older cell phones didn't do this properly. I suppose you got the phone company operator if you got anyone at all. Much hand-wringing went into getting the correct 911 center to the phone. The other problem is locating the cell phone--I assume that's why Verizon added a tone.

Another fun fact is that even a disconnected cell phone can call 911. Another side effect of the attempts to make a system designed for land lines to work with cells.