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Tinman
04-26-2016, 10:07 AM
Hi everyone. Does anyone know how 911 call centers work? In particular, if a resident of a small town that maintains its on call center calls 911 from a cell phone, how is the call routed? In the county I live in there is a countywide call center, but not all towns and districts belong to it. Thanks!!

cornflake
04-26-2016, 11:02 AM
Someone might know, but the people who will really know are in media relations of some town or law enforcement office similar in size and location to the one you're thinking of. It might be easier to just ask them directly.

King Neptune
04-26-2016, 04:59 PM
Hi everyone. Does anyone know how 911 call centers work? In particular, if a resident of a small town that maintains its on call center calls 911 from a cell phone, how is the call routed? In the county I live in there is a countywide call center, but not all towns and districts belong to it. Thanks!!

The call centers vary from state to state, but the calls are routed by telephone location as determined by the exchange for landlines or by the cell antenna involved for cell phones. Cell phones are still a problem, which is why one is usually asked where one is calling from first.

jclarkdawe
04-26-2016, 06:20 PM
Extremely state specific. Cell phones near the state's boundaries can be funky.

Jim Clark-Dawe

Casey Karp
04-27-2016, 01:35 AM
Cell phones are still a problem, which is why one is usually asked where one is calling from first.

I've had several conversations about 911 services with police officers from different jurisdictions, and they all agree that this is considerably less true than a couple of years ago. In fact, one officer told me that call centers using the latest iteration of the location technology get more precise locations from cell phones than from landlines. He was in a semi-rural area where property lots are large, so that makes sense: a cell phone could pinpoint where on the property it was, where a landline would just report the address.


Extremely state specific. Cell phones near the state's boundaries can be funky.

Not so much state boundaries in particular as boundaries between 911 coverage areas in general. As I understand it, most coverage areas are roughly contiguous with city or county boundaries, and mapping locations to coverage is just as iffy between, say, a city and the surrounding counties, as at a state border.

King Neptune
04-27-2016, 02:17 AM
I've had several conversations about 911 services with police officers from different jurisdictions, and they all agree that this is considerably less true than a couple of years ago. In fact, one officer told me that call centers using the latest iteration of the location technology get more precise locations from cell phones than from landlines. He was in a semi-rural area where property lots are large, so that makes sense: a cell phone could pinpoint where on the property it was, where a landline would just report the address.


It still depends on where one is. The new hardware and software are still being installed, and that process probably will continue for years. But progress is being made. The last time I called 911 from a cell phone I was not asked what town I was in, but less than a year earlier the same area did make that request.

Tinman
04-27-2016, 03:08 AM
In fact, one officer told me that call centers using the latest iteration of the location technology get more precise locations from cell phones than from landlines. He was in a semi-rural area where property lots are large, so that makes sense: a cell phone could pinpoint where on the property it was, where a landline would just report the address.


Thanks, Casey. I probably should have noted the novel occurs in 2009, lol.

WeaselFire
04-27-2016, 04:17 AM
Smart 911 (Enhanced 911 in many states) is designed to locate a cell phone within 100 feet and route it to the call center for that location. It was mandated (and you pay for it with every cell phone bill) to be effective about a dozen years ago. Regulators have pushed it back year after year and we're still looking at 4-6 years before it's reliably available, even though your phone can be located within 50 feet by your cell company.

Currently, the call is normally routed to the call center handling the tower it hits. All call centers can route your call to other local centers within seconds, so it's almost a non issue as far as call center routing. The response usually goes like this:

911 Operator: "911, can you tell me your location?" (Locations from land lines will show on their computer screens)
Caller: "I'm at the corner of 92nd and main."
911 Operator: "Please hold for the correct agency, do not hang up." (Operator hits ring-down key to correct agency)

911 Operator to New Operator: "I have a call for your jurisdiction coming from 92nd and Main."

New Operator to Caller: "911, what is your emergency?" (Call would start here from a land line)

Jeff

Tinman
04-27-2016, 07:56 AM
Thanks again to everyone who answered. Between the answers here and some additional info I belatedly found online, I think I finally have it covered. I sent Rep Points. Thanks again, it's much appreciated.