Glitches in 911 System Leading to Some Problems with Cell Callers in Sharp County - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Ron Smiley reports

Glitches in 911 System Leading to Some Problems with Cell Callers in Sharp County

         Posted 5:00 pm CDT 7/28/04


            Ash Flat --A local sheriff is sending out a warning to cell phone users across Region 8.  Sharp County Sheriff Dale Weaver says cell phones may misdirect your 911 calls, possibly wasting valuable time in emergencies.  Weaver says there are some things cell phone users need to know about their cell phones and emergencies.


            Over the past three weeks Weaver says his office has received three or four cell phone calls made from other counties.  He blames cell phone towers for the mistakes.  Saying, “It doesn’t matter where you call from; if the tower which takes your call is in another county it will direct your call to that areas service.”  Weaver adds in these situations the caller needs to stay calm as the emergency personnel transfers their call to the correct agency.  He also says people may want to preprogram their phones with the direct line to emergency services in their area.


            Other problems include dispatchers not knowing where the cell phone caller is.  While land line phones will display a name and address cell phones do not.  This means it is up to the caller to explain where they are, who they are, and how the dispatcher can get in touch with them in case they are disconnected.


            Finally, Weaver says it is crucial that the caller listen to what the dispatcher is saying.  If they tell you people have been sent and to stay calm, another phone call to the dispatcher may only slow down communication between rescue personnel and dispatchers.


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