Landlines better for 911 emergencies over cell phones

With a cell phone it takes several steps to locate you

NORTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP) – Cell phones are replacing the need for landline phones.  When you call 911 from a landline phone, first responders can see exactly where you’re calling from.

With a cell phone, it takes several steps to locate you, and even then, they might not get your exact address.

Granby dispatch told 22News a cell phone call first is directed to the nearest state police call center, which is in Northampton.  Then it’s directed to the appropriate city or town.

Next, a Dispatch can track the cell phone call through “Wireless Phase 1.”  That pinpoints the cell tower the call is coming from.

Wireless Phase 2 can narrow the call down to the longitude and latitude coordinates.

“The reason why I do have a landline is for that reason of an emergency call, that if something tragic does happen, a lot of people they think they can give their name and their phone number, but in a panic situation, everything goes blank,” Kathy Lanouette of Longmeadow told 22News.

Another concern was if the cell phone had a dead battery.

Northampton Dispatch recommends checking your cell phone to see if it is “Phase 2” capable.

That could make the difference between life and death.

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