Regarding 911 and cell phones

Regarding 911 and cell phones

This is a discussion on Regarding 911 and cell phones within the Off Topic & Humor Discussion forums, part of the The Back Porch category; I have called 911 twice in recent history. Once from my cell phone for a car wreck, and once from my house phone about nighttime ...

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Thread: Regarding 911 and cell phones

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array Tala's Avatar
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    Regarding 911 and cell phones

    I have called 911 twice in recent history.
    Once from my cell phone for a car wreck, and once from my house phone about nighttime prowlers.

    Background information: I got my cellphone from the local Verizon store, right up the road definitely in Benton, AR but they gave me a Hot Springs, AR phone number.

    When I called from my cell phone and told them the location of the intersection I was in, they were like "oh that's in Benton hang on" I had to be transferred from Hot Springs to the Benton dispatchers. So when I called from my house and told them that I was in Benton they were like "duh we already know that" and I was thinking "last time you didn't...."

    Is it normal to have to be transferred when you call 911? I just find it kinda weird to have to wait for a call to be transferred and give all the information over again before they even start relaying it to the cops.
    Is this a backwoods lack of technology kind of thing??
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them. -- John Wayne as John B. Books in "The Shootist"


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    Senior Member Array deafdave3's Avatar
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    I think I've called 911 three times in the last few years; all have been transferred from Sheriff's office to city police, and one of those was I was in a high speed chase with a guy who pulled a gun on my 10 year old daughter.
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    VIP Member Array Eagleks's Avatar
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    The 911 you reach has nothing to do with "where" your cell pho is registered too. If I'm in the middle of Wisconsin, it will work fine, even though I'm from Kansas. What occurs is "what tower" picks up your call as to which 911 service it might connect you to. If you are in a weird location, it could get you to a 911 that doesn't seem to fit, and I've had that happen. Don't assume they know where you are when you are on your cell phone.... that would be a bad assumption.

    We needed an ambulance and I had just got someone breathing and heart going with CPR.....and repeatedly told the 911 operator what town I was in...... and they still sent the ambulance to the wrong city.

    Our 911 sucks big time. IF you call from a cell phone, they will verify your #, who you are, your address, and have to verify it about 4 times and spend 20 minutes before they will EVEN talk to you about the reason for the call. NO joke.
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    Distinguished Member Array INccwchris's Avatar
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    get the numbers for the dispatch centers for cities you will be in, and call the dispatchers directly, less hassle, lot faster response times
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    Senior Member Array Tala's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eagleks View Post
    The 911 you reach has nothing to do with "where" your cell pho is registered too. If I'm in the middle of Wisconsin, it will work fine, even though I'm from Kansas. What occurs is "what tower" picks up your call as to which 911 service it might connect you to.
    But I was definitely IN Benton proper when I called from my cell. Hot Springs is at least 20 miles from here, and that's to the Village I don't even know how much further to the town proper.

    Maybe all Verizon towers in my area are considered Hot Springs.....stranger things have happened.
    I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them. -- John Wayne as John B. Books in "The Shootist"

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    They get your location from whatever tower your service is being routed to at that particular time. Cell service towers care nothing about political boundaries, at it sometimes makes it a nightmare for the 911 system.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    I have no idea what might be done, but it is my impression that our 911 service is technologically 20 years behind the times. It isn't just the cell phone stuff that is messed up. There are a variety of new non-traditional IP phone services some of which can not provide any 911 service and some provide a quasi 911 "enhanced 911" which may or may not actually work.

    A hardwired traditional phone at home is still about the best way to get medical and fire response, and police response if the BG hasn't cut the cord. Unfortunately these traditional phone services are now horrendously overpriced when compared to stuff like Magic Jack and Skype and Vonage.

    I once asked our local PD if there was a way to have them associate my cell phone with my home address, thinking that might improve
    response time when I am at home. Now, my smartphone associates phone numbers with callers so you'd think 911 could do the same. They can't. Many phones these days have built in GPS and you'd think the 911 systems would be able to make use of that, but they can't---- Mercop a couple days ago posted interesting info about a iphone app for emergencies-- but nothing like that is built into the 911 system.

    We need some smart people to work on bringing the system into the 21st century.

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    Senior Member Array DIABLO9489's Avatar
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    In Western New York if you call 911 from a cell phone pretty much anywhere it gets directed to Buffalo PD dispatch...it doesn't matter if you call from Amherst, Cheektowaga, Tonawanda....etc. and the calls always get lost in transfer.
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    Member Array merlin82plus's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DIABLO9489 View Post
    In Western New York if you call 911 from a cell phone pretty much anywhere it gets directed to Buffalo PD dispatch...it doesn't matter if you call from Amherst, Cheektowaga, Tonawanda....etc. and the calls always get lost in transfer.
    That's crazy, because we pay extra for "enhanced 911" in our area. Doesn't sound very enhanced to me !
    Then again, there isn't much that our taxes buy us that IS impressive...

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    Tala,

    Several of the towers are out in various locations. If the tower that normally routes your call is "down" the call is automatically routed to another tower. The problem comes from the fact that different companies use different towers that are in several locations. There are many larger towers that have multiple companies using them, they simply lease the tower on a contract arrangement. If for any reason that tower is down, it may affect a pretty large area.

    If you think its bad for cell phones, you ought to try listening in on our police radio system. If one or two towers is down, we are hosed. My handheld quits working,my two car radios dont work half the time and sometimes the dispatchers at 911 have to call us on our cell phones to dispatch us. It sucks, but thats the way it is.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    I think the best and biggest thing cell users can do for themselves is know where they are at all times, and be able to provide the nearest cross street. Even people who typically pride themselves in such things rarely are able to tell a 911 operator where they actually are.
    "Just blame Sixto"

  12. #12
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    I think the best and biggest thing cell users can do for themselves is know where they are at all times, and be able to provide the nearest cross street. Even people who typically pride themselves in such things rarely are able to tell a 911 operator where they actually are.


    Sounds good in theory. I know people that have been using the same route to get home for the last 25 years. When that street gets blocked off for maintenance they get lost.
    I would rather stand against the cannons of the wicked than against the prayers of the righteous.


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    As an FTO, that's the first thing you teach a trainee.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by HotGuns View Post


    Sounds good in theory. I know people that have been using the same route to get home for the last 25 years. When that street gets blocked off for maintenance they get lost.
    They do that in Arkansas too?! LOL.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    Ex Member Array BikerRN's Avatar
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    I think the best and biggest thing cell users can do for themselves is know where they are at all times, and be able to provide the nearest cross street.
    DING!!! DING!!! DING!!!

    We have a winner here folks. I learned that lesson the hard way once. My partner was driving as we were doing a transport. He pulled to the curb and stated he had just been shot. I had no idea where the heck we were. He asked me where I was going to have them sent an Ambulance and local P.D..

    No shots were fired, and he wasn't shot. It was his way of teaching me a lesson that has stayed with me all these years.

    Biker

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