Got An Emergency? It Won’t Be A Good Idea To Call 911 From Your Cellphone

Cellphone 911*We feel a sense of security knowing that if we ever need to get in touch with someone on the run, we only have to reach for our mobile.

But did you know that if ever you have an emergency, and you attempt to call 911, the call will go through but, if you’re in danger and can’t communicate – say in the event of a medical emergency, or even a crime – your wireless device will be of no assistance.

Here’s why.

It won’t be able to give the 911 operator your exact location. So it may be difficult or impossible for emergency responders to find you in time.

“It’s a public safety hazard that is largely unrecognized,” said Jamie Barnett, director of the Find Me 911 Coalition. “People’s lives are at risk right now because they cannot count on 911 being able to find them when they call from a cell phone.”

Outdoors, a GPS chip inside your cell phone can connect to a satellite or tower, which will provide a level of assistance for your location; but it is inside that this is not an option.

There it is hard for your phone to “see” the satellites and cell signals tend to bounce around a lot — and your location information could be off by 100 meters or more.

“We have to do better,” said Todd Piett, chief product officer with Rave Mobile Safety. “In most cities, just a few meters can mean the difference between several buildings and that can be the difference between life and death.”

And then there are those unfortunate situations where the location information turns out to be way off.

“We have a lot of cases where the distance between where the caller actually is and where the cell phone says they’re located is up to a mile different,” said Steve Souder, director of 911 communications in Fairfax County, Virginia.
That’s why the first piece of information 911 operators ask for from a cellphone caller is their location. They may not know. And if the call gets dropped, they may never know if you don’t tell them.

“We can find out the when, the why and the how once we get there. But we need to know where there is,” Souder said.

Read more of this article at NBC News.

One thought on “Got An Emergency? It Won’t Be A Good Idea To Call 911 From Your Cellphone”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *