When a 9-1-1 call comes in from a hardwired landline telephone or even a portable landline phone, the call taker automatically receives information associated with that phone account including the name in which the phone is registered and the address from which the call is being made. This information helps the call taker to dispatch the appropriate emergency responders.
The majority of 9-1-1 calls, however, come from wireless phones. Wireless calls in the Gulf Coast region make up approximately 91% of the total call volume to 9-1-1. These calls present a challenge to 9-1-1 call takers as wireless phones do not automatically provide caller location information.
If the caller is unable to provide specific location information, the call taker may use one of two systems to help pinpoint the caller’s location. The call taker may be able to identify the cell phone tower from which the call is being made, thus narrowing the location to an area that may include several square miles. He or she will then ask the caller specific questions to try and narrow the location even more. Remember to push the SEND or CALL button after you dial 9-1-1.
Frequently 9-1-1 callers speak languages other than English. The GCRECD provides each PSAP access to language translation services. The translation vendor can identify and communicate with the 9-1-1 caller in almost any language, and thousands of dialects, enabling the PSAP to summon the needed resources quickly.
The GCRECD 9-1-1 equipment contains integrated TDD/TTY equipment to allow call takers to communicate with callers who are deaf, hearing impaired, or who cannot speak.
Kari’s Law (Senate Bill 788) was signed on May 15, 2015. The Commission on State Emergency Communications adopted Rule 251.16 (Direct Access to 9-1-1 Service) to implement Kari’s Law.
This rule requires direct access to 9-1-1 service without the user having to first dial an initial number, digit prefix, or other access code before dialing 9-1-1.
Compliance with Kari’s Law is required by September 1, 2016.
For more information, please visit the Texas 9-1-1 Website.
Cell Phone Sally was developed to help Texans, especially children, become more cell-phone savvy. This fun and colorful character is featured on posters and in videos which teach kids about calling 9-1-1 from wireless and other phones.
As the number of wireless users has increased, so has the number of unintentional cell phone calls to 9-1-1. Cell Phone Sally helps convey the importance of leaving cell phones in the “locked” or “key guard” position when on, but not in use. This keeps phones from accidentally dialing 9-1-1 and allows other 9-1-1 emergency calls to be handled appropriately.
Until just a few years ago, there was only one way to dial 9-1-1: from a landline phone. Ever- evolving technologies with wireless and Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) devices provide users with many options for phone service. However, each of these new technologies brings new challenges to the 9-1-1 system.
The GCRECD will continually evaluate and improve our technologies and our training methods to stay up-to-date with 9-1-1 advancements. Consumers, too, must understand how their own communication devices interact with 9-1-1 in different situations. Talk to your service provider for more information.
VoIP or Voice over Internet Protocol is technology allows telephone calls to be made over the Internet. The voice data is sent over the Internet instead of analog telephone lines using the Internet Protocol (IP).