Emergency 911 System Fails To Track All Wireless Calls
The California Highway Patrol's emergency 911 system often fails to determine the location of cell phone callers, which can hamper efforts to provide emergency treatments, the Los Angeles Times reports.
A Times review of 911 wireless calls between August and September found that one in five calls to CHP centers did not include location information. Under federal laws, dispatch centers are required to receive at minimum the address of the antenna transmitting the call, but the technology has limitations.
CHP dispatchers are struggling to deal with nearly 75% of the state's eight million to 10 million wireless 911 calls. Callers to the state's busiest call centers, in San Francisco and Los Angeles, also experience long delays or dropped calls, the Times reports.
Last week, the Federal Communications Commission released an order to enhance cell phone tracking standards for 911 calls over the next five years because of national concerns about finding wireless callers reporting emergencies (Connell/Lopez, Los Angeles Times, 11/23).