|Wireless 9-1-1 Overview
What is Wireless 9-1-1?
However, when 9-1-1 calls are made from wireless phones, the call may not be routed to the closest 9-1-1 center, and the call taker doesn’t receive the callback phone number or the location of the caller. This presents life threatening problems due to lost response time, if callers are unable to speak or don’t know where they are, or if they don’t know their wireless phone callback number and the call is dropped.
Three Phases of Wireless 9-1-1
Wireless Phase I is the first step in providing better emergency response service to wireless 9-1-1 callers. When Phase I has been implemented, a wireless 9-1-1 call will come into the PSAP with the wireless phone call back number. This is important in the event the cell phone call is dropped, and may even allow PSAP employees to work with the wireless company to identify the wireless subscriber. However, Phase I still doesn’t help call takers locate emergency victims or callers.
To locate wireless 9-1-1 callers, Phase II must have been implemented in the area by local 9-1-1 systems and wireless carriers. Phase II allows call takers to receive both the caller’s wireless phone number and their location information.
It is estimated that of the 150 million calls that were made to 9-1-1 in 2000, 45 million of them were made by wireless telephone usersthats 30 percent. This is a ten-fold increase from nearly 4.3 million wireless 9-1-1 calls just 10 years ago, and the number will more than double to 100 million calls in the next five years. It is anticipated that by 2005, the majority of 9-1-1 calls will be from wireless callers.
Beginning this year, statistical information on wireless 9-1-1 will be more exact and readily available within NENAs Report Card to the Nation project. In this first ever nation-wide survey of the industry, NENA will track a variety of 9-1-1 system information including wireline and wireless call statistics, 9-1-1 service levels, legislation, equipment, staffing information, and more.
Frightening statistics about wireless calls to 9-1-1, like those stated above, and the actions of industries tangential to 9-1-1 have brought us together to develop solutions that will ultimately work best for the citizens we serve.
A Critical Public Safety Issue
The industry set forth to educate itself, our legislators and our public of the critical need for wireless 9-1-1 service. After having been the topic of discussion in 9-1-1 for several years, wireless 9-1-1 service is finally becoming a reality. With a sturdy infrastructure and the technology necessary to support wireless 9-1-1 service, members of each states public safety community have workedor are workingtirelessly to pass the legislation necessary to fund this valuable, necessary, and overdue component to the public safety system.
Now, with legislation, funding, and the technology in hand or on the way, the challenge is being met and our wireless telephone users can be confident thatin the futurehelp will indeed be on the way when they dial 9-1-1 from a cell phone.