Cellphone Callers to 9-1-1 Should Specify County

Valuable time can be wasted while 9-1-1 dispatchers try to determine a mobile caller's location.

People calling 9-1-1 from their cell phone while in Montgomery County should inform the answering dispatcher of that fact, the county's Department of Public Safety said last week.

The Sanatoga Post reports that some 9-1-1 calls from cell phones may initially be picked up by a tower in a neighboring county and initially be routed to that county's emergency dispatch center.

The seconds or minutes that elapse while the neighboring county's dispatcher ascertains the caller's location can be crucial.

“Stating ‘I’m calling from Montgomery County’ at the outset will greatly reduce any delay in getting people the help they need,” the department said.

William Crielly October 04, 2012 at 11:24 PM
That's fine, if you know the county you are in! What happens if you are driving across state, and don't have a clue of which county you are located in. What happened to "enhanced 911" for which we pay a fee with our cell phone bill that is supposed to give the dispatcher our exact location when we call?
Jim Perry October 05, 2012 at 10:57 AM
Instead of issuing a useless press release, the Department of Public Safety should have directed its dispatchers to ask for the caller's location right after "What is your emergency?". Callers in crisis need to be prompted for essential information. Basic emergency management.
tex October 05, 2012 at 12:04 PM
Didn't you read the article? "Enhanced" 911 picks up the location of the cell tower, and if the tower you are near is in another county, then the call is routed there. If you don't know where you are, just say it. If you want the best help you can get in an emergency, you need to help yourself first.
Brian B October 05, 2012 at 03:21 PM
This scares me because what if the babysitter calls from her cell and has no idea what county she's in? What if your house is near the nexus of 3 (or 4) counties?
jenn smith October 09, 2012 at 08:31 PM
I think 9-1-1 is horendus. I called 9-1-1 once outside of my job (my job was an hr away from where I lived) because there was a Horrible accident and they kept asking me what county I was in. I had no idea, I told them the location and it still took FOREVER for them to figure out where I was. I was so frustrated with 9-1-1 and have no confidence in that sytem. I mean....I told them the address and cant they track my cell anyway as long as my gps is on!!!!!!!


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