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#81826 - 01/02/07 07:05 AM Calling 911 in other states
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
I just got a TracPhone, and I'm not very familiar with cell phones.

If you are out of your local area, such as in another state, and have to make a 911 call, which dispatcher answers the call, the one from your local area or the one nearest where you are now?


#81827 - 01/02/07 01:51 PM Re: Calling 911 in other states
kd7fqd Offline

Registered: 08/07/05
Posts: 359
Loc: Saratoga Springs,Utah,USA
Sue I'm almost sure that you would get the local operator for 911, I use Nextel and have used the phone in Idaho and Nevada and got local operators for the 911 calls
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#81828 - 01/02/07 02:25 PM Re: Calling 911 in other states
Russ Offline

Registered: 06/02/06
Posts: 5207
911 calls are treated differently by the cellphone system. They go to the dispatch center nearest the cell tower that receives your signal. It doesn't matter which cell provider you have either. I have an older Nokia analog/digital model which is not on contract. It can still dial and reach 911, when they have the time to answer.

#81829 - 01/02/07 03:30 PM Re: Calling 911 in other states
Ron Offline

Registered: 02/04/05
Posts: 171
Loc: Georgia, USA
The one time that I needed to dial 911 out of state on my cell phone (car accident) I got a local 911 service. When I gave them the street intersection, I was told that it was in the next county. I do not remember if they transfered me or if they gave me the number to dial, but they did get me in touch with the right PD to handle the call.

#81830 - 01/02/07 03:44 PM Re: Calling 911 in other states
OldBaldGuy Offline

Registered: 09/30/01
Posts: 5695
Loc: Former AFB in CA, recouping fr...
It can vary from state to state. In CA, unless they have changed in the last eight months or so, from a cell you will get the California Highway Patrol, no matter where you are in the state. It should be the nearest CHP dispatch center, but cell sites do strange things some time. The CHP dispatcher will then transfer you to the appropriate agency, assuming that you aren't calling in a traffic problem.

And by law a 911 call can only be transferred one time, so you'd better hope that you get the correct agency by that time, or which every dispatch you have by then will be the one you are stuck with...

#81831 - 01/02/07 05:49 PM Re: Calling 911 in other states
Stretch Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 11/27/06
Posts: 707
Loc: Alamogordo, NM
Happy New Year Sue ,
You can call your local PD, SO, and Highway Patrol (at their public numbers, not the 911 number) and ask them. They should know, at least when you're in your home area, who you're going to get. When you're roaming, I agree with the others - you'll get the dispatch (most likely PD) for whatever locality is closest to the nearest cell tower to your phone.

If I remember right, you're in the NW area. If you're in a small town, you can go down to the PD or SO (SO is almost always more friendly - they're always kind of down-home and back-woodsy people) and speak directly to the dispatchers. They'll probably let you drive away a few miles, make a 911 call, and answer it without giving you any crap. You know.... just to test it.

If all else fails, you can ask tracfone.com

#81832 - 01/03/07 06:24 AM Re: Calling 911 in other states
KI6IW Offline

Registered: 12/23/05
Posts: 203
Loc: San Francisco Bay Area, USA
Everything you ever wanted to know about wireless 9-1-1, from the National Emergency Number Association.

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#81833 - 01/03/07 07:42 PM Re: Calling 911 in other states
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
Thank you all for your answers.

What brought this up was remembering a woman in OR who was on her land line carry-around phone, and tripped over a toy, fell backwards onto some kind of glass coffee table, which broke.

Her phone went flying, but she screamed to her friend (in CA) that the large shards of glass were holding her in place (sticking into her) and she was bleeding.

Her friend called her local 911 and told them what had happened, and that her friend was in OR. The dispatcher just couldn't seem to understand the problem. The friend gave the dispatcher her friend's name, address and phone number. The dispatcher called the number and reported that the phone was busy, so she couldn't verify the incident.

The call was finally relayed, but it took over 45 minutes for paramedics to get the call and get to the woman's home.

I was visualizing a roadside life-threatening emergency while trying to deal with a brain-dead dispatcher back home.



#81834 - 01/03/07 08:47 PM Re: Calling 911 in other states
Eugene Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 12/26/02
Posts: 2830
One idea in that situation, if you were the person talking to the one who dropped the phone would be to quickly conference 911 and the friend. The phone companies will do it for a small fee now so you don't need to have that service on your plan.
Also make sure your cell phone in always on you. Women are bad about putting cell phones in their purses and besides being annoying when there is a ringing purse sitting on someones desk if someone grabs your purse and runs or you fall and can't reach it then you can't reach your phone. Alway keep it on a belt, in a pocket, etc.

#81835 - 01/04/07 01:09 AM Re: Calling 911 in other states
Susan Offline

Registered: 01/21/04
Posts: 5163
Loc: W. WA
In that particular case, she dropped the phone out of reach when she fell. She didn't even know if the phone had disconnected when it landed. All she could do is hope that her friend was still there, could hear her, and could do something.


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