Get help faster - and what to do until help arrives

Vee-911 is an app for cell phone and tablet users to be able to access the closest 911 dispatch center. • Identification of the correct 911 dispatch center – Currently, less than 1 out of 5 cell phone calls to 911 have the caller’s location and phone number transmitted with the call. A study by Ventura County Fire Department earlier this year showed that location transmission varied by carrier (see the attached CALNENA letter/report). Of this 20%, many carriers transmitted the location of the server through which the call was routed. This can be miles away from the caller’s location. Anecdotally, a woman whose service had been moved to California from Washington had her call routed to the state of Washington’s 911 service rather than to California. This substantially delayed her getting help.

Additionally, all cell phone calls to 911 are routed through the California Highway Patrol. If location informtion isn’t transmitted, the CHP dispatcher has to get it from the caller, who may or may not know it. For example, three situations can occur:

o The caller doesn’t know where they are and, thus, is unable to tell the dispatcher o The caller is directionally challenged and believes they’re at Location A when in fact, they’re at Location B o The caller is panicked and unable to think clearly

However, all cell phones have GPS capability build in. Thus, accurate location information is available. Geocoding will then be used to identify the correct 911 center, so that the caller can get help as quickly as possible.

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