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Ohio story shows why e911 is important

For years the FCC has been trying to get cellular carriers to become e911 compliant. With a larger and larger percentage of emergency calls coming from cell phones, it’s important that the call get routed to the proper 911 center, and that the first responders can locate the phone using cell towers. We saw an example of this in Ohio last week, after a Miamisburg man’s house and business caught fire. He called 911, which routed him to the local police department, which wasn’t open and which had a recording prompting people to call 911 for emergencies. Clearly, this is not the best way to operate an emergency service. Had the man’s phone been 911 compliant, help would have gotten to him before his “home was fully engulfed and a near total loss.”

The man’s phone was through Cricket wireless, so they were immediately blamed for the incident. Sheriff’s deputies tested 911 calls throughout the county and came across the same problem throughout. A subsequent report noted that Cricket is in the process of fixing the problem, which they note was isolated.

This story perfectly displays why e911 services are so important. We’ve been programmed since a young age to call 911 for emergencies, and the victim did just that. Only with full e911 compliance can we ensure that calls get routed to the proper centers, and that first responders get the information they need.