Henry County, Tennessee 911
Henry County 911 Dispatch
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911 Calls from Wireless Phones

Wireless telephones increase in use on a daily basis and provide convenience in many areas. They have served as a great benefit to 9-1-1 in that they allow for immediate notifications on wrecks, fires and other calls for service. More and more, many people are opting to use cellular phones as their primary phone service as opposed to the traditional landline phones.

As with any technology though, challenges can be encountered in some areas. Calls can be lost or “dropped” as a result of the signal to tower that received the call being lost. Signal strength can also be inhibited due to atmospheric conditions or terrain in regards to where the caller is located. Signal strength can also be hindered when a wireless call is made from inside a building as opposed to outside.

From a 9-1-1 perspective, at times calls intended for a certain county may be routed to a neighboring county’s 9-1-1 center due to tower location. When callers realize this has happened it is important to let the dispatcher know that they need to be transferred to the correct county. Perhaps the most critical challenge associated with wireless callers is locating the caller. Callers need to stay on the phone when possible so that 9-1-1 dispatchers can accurately locate them. This is of particular importance when a caller is not familiar with the area so that street names and landmarks can be identified relative to the call. Should a wireless caller have limited “talk time” when placing an emergency call, they should be aware of the need to give the 9-1-1 dispatcher the location of the incident immediately if at all possible. While it is true, latitude and longitude equipment is in place to locate with a fair amount of accuracy a caller’s general location, we still rely on callers to pinpoint exact locations. This is of particular importance for calls made from multi level buildings such as apartment, multi suite complexes and hotels, that have several unique addresses in the same building.