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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 201473 Find in a Library
Title: One Nation, One Number
Journal: Law Enforcement Technology  Volume:30  Issue:7  Dated:July 2003  Pages:46,48,55
Author(s): Greg Gerber
Date Published: July 2003
Page Count: 9
Type: Issue Overview
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article discusses the problems of the enhanced 911 emergency call system, for both wireless and non-wireless callers.
Abstract: The author begins by explaining that when the 911 system was mandated by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), it provided only general guidelines for the system, believing that government should not dictate the specifics of how a free market should operate. The FCC did mandate that the 911 service be implemented in three phases, Phase Zero required that all 911 calls be translated into a seven-digit number and routed to a call center staffed 24 hours a day, every day. Phase One required that the telephone companies relay a 10-digit callback number and the approximate location of the caller. Phase Two required that the telephone companies provide more detailed location information. The implementation of Phase Two has become problematic because in 1992, when most of the FCC mandates were drafted, there was not widespread use of cellular telephones. As such, wireless telephone companies were left on their own to figure out how to provide the required location information, and many of them dragged their feet initially. Corporations with multiple phone lines also experience problems with enhanced 911 call systems. However, while solutions have been developed, the author describes delays in implementing the improvements. Budgetary cutbacks, especially among government agencies, have only exacerbated efforts to enhance the 911 call system. The key to implementing improvements involves the widespread coordination and cooperation of those involved in the enhanced 911 system. Quick action is crucial in order to save lives lost because emergency personnel are not always able to quickly locate those in trouble.
Main Term(s): Nine-one-one (911) emergency telephone number
Index Term(s): Emergency communications; Emergency telephone number; FCC regulations
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