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Enhanced 911 (E911)

Enhanced 911 (E911) is an advancement in the 911 emergency services system used in North America, designed to improve the effectiveness and reliability of wireless 911 services.

E911 provides emergency responders with additional information, primarily the caller's location, to improve the speed and accuracy of emergency responses. 

  • Automatic Location Information: The most significant feature of E911 is its ability to automatically provide the caller's location to the emergency dispatcher. For landline calls, this typically includes the address associated with the phone number. For mobile calls, it can include more precise location data, often derived from GPS or network-based location technologies.

  • Improved Response Times: By having immediate access to the caller's location, emergency services can respond more quickly and accurately, which is crucial in saving lives and reducing the severity of injuries in emergencies.

  • Phase I and Phase II: E911 services are implemented in two phases. Phase I provides the dispatch center with the caller's phone number and the location of the cell tower transmitting the call. Phase II provides more precise location information directly from the caller's phone.

  • VoIP and E911: E911 services have been extended to include Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) phone services, which present unique challenges for location identification due to their mobility and internet-based nature. VoIP users are often required to register their location with their service provider for E911 purposes.

Enhanced 911 represents a significant advancement in emergency services, leveraging technology to enhance public safety and ensure that help is dispatched as efficiently as possible during emergencies.

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