With the new system, dispatchers ….
With the new system, dispatchers are able to easily transfer these calls without having to get off the phone with the caller.
Another major upgrade in the equipment is the ability to pinpoint the location of people who call into 9-1-1 on their cellphones. Getting cellphone calls for accidents, people lost while hiking or hunters injured in the woods is not uncommon for the county. Woebbeking explained that in the past they would have to contact the cellular provider, convince them that it was an actual emergency and have them ping the cellphone location from a nearby cell tower. Often this would only give a vague idea of where the individual was, delaying the response for emergency providers.
The new system is able to pick up the location of the cellphone immediately and allow the dispatchers see it on a computer map of the county. The longer the individual is on the line with the dispatcher the more accurate the location becomes.
By federal law, all charged cellular phones, even those that are no longer activated with a services provider are able to be used to make 9-1-1 calls. Woebbeking noted this is a good safety feature for emergencies to be able to contact 9-1-1. The challenge they are finding is with people who pass their old phones to their children to play with and the children accidentally calling 9-1-1. Woebbeking said these calls can clog dispatch delaying responses to legitimate callers and urged parents to be aware of what their children are doing on the devices.