9-1-1 calls placed from a landline telephone are routed directly to the 9-1-1 center. Cell phone calls to 9-1-1 go through the Pocket Dial Filter, but landline calls bi-pass the filter. The 9-1-1 Calltaker receives the billing information for your landline telephone, which consists of the resident’s name, address, and telephone number. Calltakers will still ask you to confirm this information as some residents have their telephone bill sent to a different address. In those situations, the information 9-1-1 receives is not the location you are calling from. Contact your telephone provider to see about updating this information so it presents correctly to 9-1-1.
If you have the option of calling from a landline phone or a cell phone, the landline phone provides more information about your location and may have a better reception than your cell phone. However, your cell phone may be more convenient in case you need to move, go near a patient requiring medical aid, etc. The most important thing is to know the location where help is needed.
Voice over Internet Protocal (VoIP) phone service is an alternative to a traditional landline phone. It is important that you understand the potential issues when dialing 9-1-1. If you have a VoIP phone and dial 9-1-1, you may not connect with your local 9-1-1 center. Contact your service provider to ensure they have your correct address information. This will ensure your call is routed to the appropriate 9-1-1 center. If you do not do this, your call may be answered by a national call center, which is located in Canada. They should be able to transfer your call to the appropriate 9-1-1 center, but the delay just might be the difference between life and death. If you move and maintain your VoIP phone, contact your service provider to update your information promptly. It is important to be familiar with your service providers procedures for updating your address.
If your power is out or your internet connection is down, your VoIP phone service may not work. Consider having a cell phone as a backup.