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Old 10-20-2008, 12:31 PM   #1
GreasyJoe
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Default Ever have 911 not work on your cell?

Years ago I tried calling 911 on my cell to report a car fire in someone else's car, and it wouldn't work. I just got some weird recording telling me to contact the cell phone company.

It killed me that there was no info in the instructions warning the user that it wouldn't work with 911, I had to wait till there was an actual emergency to find out. Stupid.

I recently got the first cell phone I've had in years so now I'm wondering if that's a common problem or if things have changed between the time I had the first phone and this one.

Do they all work with 911?
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:46 PM   #2
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should be able to now with any phone and any provider. If I can recall, even phones that are disconnected and have no service provider should be able to dial 911 in the event of an emergency.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:47 PM   #3
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One way to find out.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:47 PM   #4
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never had a problem but 911 from a cell phone is slow as ass to get an answer, and you get transferred around which is also slow.

Use a land line if possible.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:48 PM   #5
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my blackberry accidentally dials it sometimes. not too fun
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:50 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Schniz View Post
my blackberry accidentally dials it sometimes. not too fun
and that's the reason the response it slow. most newer ones don't allow you to dial it accidentally.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:51 PM   #7
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I hear that it depend on your cell phone carrier. I have heard of this before but don't know the specifics. There is a Vonage commerical on TV around the NJ area and in small print at the end it does say something about 911 but it's too fast to actually read the full thing.

Here we go:
http://blog.tmcnet.com/blog/tom-keat...lease-hold.asp

Steve

Last edited by jetfan2207; 10-20-2008 at 12:57 PM.
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Old 10-20-2008, 12:56 PM   #8
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Nope..

The day my dad went into the hospital we called and it went something like this...
Quote:
I25:My dad just collapsed and isnt responding..
911: We'll send someone out right away, whee are you located??
I25: *Home address*
911: Thats not what we are showing on file, are you sure?
I25: yes Im ****ing sure, Im right here right now!
911: Well its coming up something different
I25: I don't care what it says, just send someone to the address I gave you.
911: Uh...ok, what was the address again?
I25: *Home address*
911: Ok let me change something and send someone out.
I25 Stop changing ****, and just send someone here now...
911: Ok, they are on there way.
They pull in to the residential area about 4-5 mins later. They are driving slowly down the street looking at every house number. I run out and wave my hands/run towards them.

They get out, do what they need to do and take my dad away. As they are leaving, I ask one of the guys what address he was given. He listed off an address that I didnt give the Operator. Id love to see that dumb bitch and kick her in the head now...
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:05 PM   #9
SubaruPartsGirl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impreza25 View Post
Nope..

The day my dad went into the hospital we called and it went something like this...


They pull in to the residential area about 4-5 mins later. They are driving slowly down the street looking at every house number. I run out and wave my hands/run towards them.

They get out, do what they need to do and take my dad away. As they are leaving, I ask one of the guys what address he was given. He listed off an address that I didnt give the Operator. Id love to see that dumb bitch and kick her in the head now...
Yeah dude, I would have been flipping out too! If you are calling 911 it's EMERGENCY, therefore you need help immediately...not after she updates your info, gets a cup of coffee and smokes a ciggy.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:08 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Impreza25 View Post
Nope..

The day my dad went into the hospital we called and it went something like this...


They pull in to the residential area about 4-5 mins later. They are driving slowly down the street looking at every house number. I run out and wave my hands/run towards them.

They get out, do what they need to do and take my dad away. As they are leaving, I ask one of the guys what address he was given. He listed off an address that I didnt give the Operator. Id love to see that dumb bitch and kick her in the head now...
You should contact whoever is in charge of 911 or some other authority and tell them about it. If they actually care about providing good service they'll do something about it.
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:35 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GreasyJoe View Post
Years ago I tried calling 911 on my cell to report a car fire in someone else's car, and it wouldn't work. I just got some weird recording telling me to contact the cell phone company.

It killed me that there was no info in the instructions warning the user that it wouldn't work with 911, I had to wait till there was an actual emergency to find out. Stupid.
Clearly, 9-1-1 is a joke yo' town
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Old 10-20-2008, 01:42 PM   #12
I25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SubaruPartsGirl View Post
Yeah dude, I would have been flipping out too! If you are calling 911 it's EMERGENCY, therefore you need help immediately...not after she updates your info, gets a cup of coffee and smokes a ciggy.
Quote:
Originally Posted by GreasyJoe View Post
You should contact whoever is in charge of 911 or some other authority and tell them about it. If they actually care about providing good service they'll do something about it.
My mother did...not sure what came out of it.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:29 PM   #13
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I dialled 911 on my cell after watching some dude in a 300Z loose control and slamming into a powerline pole. He must have not been wearing his belt, because I saw him slam through his windshield and rested on the hood. About that time the transformers exploded and live wires came down on him. I'm sure he was toast, but I tried getting through 911 but got "all lines are busy, please try again later".
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:32 PM   #14
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I've probably called 911 four or five times to report drunk drivers, erratic driving, etc. I've never actually gotten through. My wife has called to report an assault she saw and a house on fire. Both times she got through, but only after being on hold for a few minutes. It is a ridiculous system.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:37 PM   #15
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If 911 is not working from your cell phone, contact your provider and let them know.

That is a pretty big issue that they have to fix.
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Old 10-20-2008, 03:44 PM   #16
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Im thinking about entering into my contacts the local police numbers for the cities around mine, in case this kinda crap happens.
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Old 10-20-2008, 04:01 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protege Menace View Post
Im thinking about entering into my contacts the local police numbers for the cities around mine, in case this kinda crap happens.

That's what I have done. I travel through 5-6 towns (depending on which way I travel) going to work. I have called 911 a few time for things slightly under what I would call andemergency (drunk drivers, electric lines down, etc). I used to call 911 and as soon as someone picked up I'd asked to be transfered to whatever town I'm in police dept. But I figured it's better and faster to just save all the local po-po's numbers.

Steve
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:14 PM   #18
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I called 911 after my friend was hit by a car and i guess i was on the border of 2 suburbs. So they had to transfer me to the other suburb....

YOU STUPID ****IN BITCH MY FRIEND JUST GOT HIT BY A CAR AND YOU JUST CANT SEND AN AMBO?

I wanted to kill that lady so bad.
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Old 10-20-2008, 05:27 PM   #19
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I tried to call it with my cell to report an accident and it wouldn't work. Got some generic message. I don't know if it was a fluke or not.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:02 PM   #20
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Hi folks,

My username is based on the fact that I work at a 9-1-1 center, so I have some input that should shed some light on this subject. I'm a Canadian working in a Canadian 9-1-1 center, but I am pretty sure that mobile/cell operators in both countries do things very much the same, so that providers in both countries can operate their phones in either country.

If you dial 9-1-1 on your cell phone, the cell phone companies are required to connect you, regardless if you have an account with them or not. So if you're on company X and you have no signal, but you are within range of company B's tower, you will be connected. That's the intent, though the OP has information that suggests otherwise. I know in Canada, that's the way things work.

Most 9-1-1 centers in North America don't get location information for cell phones. If they're (we're) lucky, they get the address of the tower site where your phone is connecting to the wired phone network. That may be why the operator in Impreza25's case had so many issues. They're supposed to know that the cell tower isn't the right address to send to, but occasionally rookies forget, or experienced people get vapor lock. Anyway, this is why you might be at 123 Suburban Avenue but the ambulance was sent to 1200 City Hall Way (where the cell phone tower is mounted on the tallest building in town).

Yes, cell phones can and do automatically dial 9-1-1. When I started with my current employer in 2001, serving just under a million people, we had over 6,000 false 9-1-1 calls from cell phones per month. A lot of the problem is/was phones where you can hold down the '9' or the '1' key (depending on your phone manufacturer) and it quick-dials the emergency number. Cell phone manufacturers thought this would be a brilliant idea to allow people to dial 9-1-1 quickly (despite the fact that 9-1-1, being only 3 digits long compared to 7 or 10 digits for normal phone numbers, is inherently quicker to dial). Manufacturers didn't take into consideration that people are going to be putting their phones in their pockets up against their keys, fat asses, etc. So I and my colleagues get to hear people walking along, or singing to the car stereo, or taking a leak (which is pretty low on my list of things I ever care to hear, for what it's worth). A lot of phones even let you dial the emergency quick-dial when the keypad is locked, which gives people a totally false sense of security when they lock their keypads, and then stuff their phone into their pocket/purse/etc again.

Some manufacturers moved the emergency dial to a special key they called 'SOS'. This would have been great, if they bothered to tell their customers what it means. Most of the time when someone has used the SOS button on their phone (at least, that they admit to me), they called because they had a question about their bill, or wanted to know how to put feature XYZ on their phone, or just had no clue what the button did.

For those of you who say that you have gotten put on hold/busy signals/etc when you need help, the fault usually lies in the fact that there are so many cell phones these days. 9-1-1's core technology was designed back in the 60s and while it's been expanded on since then, it still can get overloaded from time to time. In order to have the special features we get like your phone number and address automatically (which is different than Caller ID), the ability to lock open the line even if you hang up, etc., we have to have special telephone lines. In my city of just under a million, back in 2001, the 9-1-1 system had enough capacity to handle 64 simultaneous 9-1-1 calls. That's technology-wise; staffing-wise, in 2001, we had 3 9-1-1 operators and one supervisor that could jump in and answer calls if necessary. Today, we have 8 9-1-1 operators and two supervisors to jump in. This is only for 9-1-1/Fire/EMS; police have their own set of calltakers that we transfer to (freeing up 9-1-1 when the police, whose calls are typically much longer time-wise, have to stick with a caller). If all 8 calltakers are on calls, a red light flashes in the center, telling the supervisors we are at capacity. If more calls come in, they get a recorded message saying not to hang up and that their call will be answered. Even if they do hang up at this stage, we get a "trapped call" notice on our screen and the line stays locked open; when that call's turn comes up, we get it and have to deal with it at that point. Anyway, the other reason that you might get a busy signal or message is the sheer number of cellphones or other phones calling us. It's not unusual for us to get 15 to 30 calls on any given car crash, fire, medical emergency, or crime that happens in a public place, simply because everyone and their brother phones it in. So if a crash happens on the freeway in my town, and more than 8 people decide to phone 9-1-1 on their cell phones, at least one of them gets a recording. Considering the amount of traffic on the road, and the fact that almost all these people have cell phones, that's not at all an unusual situation. Please just hang tight and wait for us to answer.

As for why it wouldn't work at all on a cell phone, that I can't explain. Maybe your cell phone provider doesn't have an agreement with other carriers to allow 9-1-1 service. In some states I know that cell phones go to specific agencies instead of the closest one (in particular, the California Highway Patrol answers all cell phones). I don't really have an answer otherwise - just keep trying if you do have an emergency.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:17 PM   #21
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Quote:
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I called 911 after my friend was hit by a car and i guess i was on the border of 2 suburbs. So they had to transfer me to the other suburb....

YOU STUPID ****IN BITCH MY FRIEND JUST GOT HIT BY A CAR AND YOU JUST CANT SEND AN AMBO?

I wanted to kill that lady so bad.
I crashed my white subie in the snow on a main but rural road in my town. Some passersby stopped to see if I was ok and called 911 Oakland police show up..."Uh this is not our town we have to call Ringwood Police" Ringwood PD get there and they're like this isn't our town it's a section of Wanaque. So 3 towns showed up to my one little car accident. Now there are signs designating the borders. R/W, W/O and R/O etc all up Skyline Drive.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:18 PM   #22
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Yes, but it was because a large, angry black man swatted it it out of my hand.
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Old 10-20-2008, 07:31 PM   #23
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Last time I called 911 they flat out didn't come till about a half hour later. I called to report kids that I knew were in middle school drinking AND DRIVING their parents car around the neighborhood. There were about 20 kids at the house all drinking, and all under the age of 15. By the time the police drove down the street all the kids were back inside and they didn't even bother stopping at the address I gave them.


I was all like... WTF?! Somebody could have died
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