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March 13, 2012 > Calling 911 from a cell phone

Calling 911 from a cell phone

Submitted By Newark PD

When you call 911 from a "land line," a traditional telephone line from your home (a telephone connected to the lines on the poles), emergency responders can find you - even if you don't know where you are or can't communicate. That's because calling 911 from a landline shows your location in our dispatch center showing the number and address of the phone you're using.

Cell Phones Don't Work the Same!

When you make a 911 call on a cell phone, you are sending signals through the air. The tower that picks up your phone's signal may be near, but it isn't enough to tell the dispatcher where to find you. It's like playing "Marco Polo" in the pool - blindfolded with just sound to guide you.

Location, Location, Location

When you call 911 from a cell phone, your exact location is not know immediately. To get help to you, there are two pieces of information the Public Safety Dispatcher needs to know immediately:

#1: Tell the call-taker your exact location (city, address, nearest intersection).
#2: Tell the call-taker what type of emergency you have.

Different emergencies might use different dispatch centers. With the right information, the call-taker, if necessary can transfer you to the right center.

Stay calm be clear

Remember, emergency responders can only respond if they know where they're going. Make sure you get the location as detailed as possible.

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