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.