911 & Cell Phones
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Nearly 80% of all calls to 9-1-1 are made from cell phones, and unfortunately, the technology used to locate cell phones has still not been perfected.
Cell Phone Preparedness
Keep abreast of your location at all times. The location of mobile callers may not appear on the dispatcher's computer or may not be accurate. Know where you are at all times so you can relay your location to dispatchers. When on a roadway, be prepared to give an intersection or cross street, highway milepost number, well-known landmark, or other descriptive information that will help locate you.
Be aware of reception problems. While coverage has increased greatly over the last decade, there may still be some areas where cell phone reception is not good. Be prepared for communications to cut in and out, be full of static, or be dropped. If you have a bad connection or lose connectivity during the call, call 9-1-1 again.
Be aware of background noises. Many cell phone calls are placed from outdoors, so be alert to noises such as wind, passing traffic, train horn, and other noises that can hamper communications. Speak clearly, calmly, and directly into the cell phone to make communications as efficient as possible.
Children and Cell Phones
Teach your children the appropriate use of 9-1-1 and how to call 9-1-1. It could save your life! Visit the 9-1-1 for Kids website for information and videos which can be of help.
In addition, before giving a child an old cell phone to play with as a toy, please remove the batteries. Inactive cell phones may still have the ability to dial 9-1-1, but cannot be traced, and nuisance calls to 9-1-1 may prevent someone with an actual emergency from getting help.
Lock It Before You Pocket
A large amount of accidental calls to 9-1-1 are made by those who carry an unlocked cell phone in a pocket or purse. Phantom call, or as known in the industry as "butt dials", create problems as the caller isn't aware they've dialed 9-1-1.
In order to reduce the risk of accidentally calling 9-1-1 when your phone is in your pocket or purse, lock the keypad so calls cannot be made.
Remember, lock it before you pocket!