“The phone rang at 4:43 am on March 27, 2007. Patty Michaels, a dispatcher at a 911 call center in Belleville, IL picked up. On the other end of the call, a woman screamed for help. She said her husband had attacked her. Michaels heard a baby crying in the background. The caller’s address appeared on Michaels’ screen: it was in O’Fallon, IL less than 10 miles away. Michaels asked the woman to confirm the location. “That’s when it got really tricky,” she says. The caller wasn’t in Illinois. She was in South Korea.
Two days earlier, the woman and her baby had left town to join her husband, an Army serviceman posted in Seoul, Korea. She was locked in her bedroom, afraid for her life. But because she had dialed 911 from a VOIP – voice over Internet protocol – service, Michaels had absolutely no way of finding her with the system. The 911 system doesn’t locate computers; it only shows the address that the phone service is registered to, and when Michaels’ caller left the country, she didn’t update her address.”
You can read the full story about the resourcefulness of this amazing dispatcher in the TIMES feature article at http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,2062452,00.html
We have come to assume that because our GPS-enabled phones may know exactly where we are, and because we see it every night on our favorite cop shows, that 911 will know where to send help when we call from our cell phone – or even just have it turned on. Unfortunately, television is not reality. Traditional emergency services don’t take texts, photos, Skype calls or videos either.
You see, 911 was designed for landlines and was not a very sophisticated technology. Beginning in 1968, it took 20 years for 911 to reach 50% of the US population and dispatchers couldn’t even tell where the calls were coming from! By the time this got sorted out along came the cell phone with advancements in technology far outstripping 911 technology by light years!
Enter the MobileTREC emergency cell phone application. When the user activates the MobileTREC Panic Button feature on their cell phone, a sequence of events occurs to provide the user with an immediate response. With a paid subscription, the MobileTREC state-of-the-art Call Center can accurately locate the caller even 10,000 miles away