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Woman occupying an emergency call desk representing 911 Services in the VoIP world

911 Services in the VoIP world

E911 (Enhanced 911) is support for VoIP phone users who dial 911, the standard number for requesting help in an emergency. Due to the fact that VoIP users may at dispersed locations or are mobile, 911 services have had to be modified for these services so that the location of the caller will be known to the 911 centre.

The following is an overview of typical call flows to an E911 service.

When a VoIP Subscriber places a 911 call, the Emergency Response Specialist answers with the following script: “911, do you need Police, Fire or Ambulance?”

While the VoIP Caller responds, a database lookup on the caller ID is performed to bring up the last known address. The Emergency Response Specialist then verifies the address with the VoIP caller.

If the answer is “Yes”, the agent immediately transfers the call the appropriate emergency response authority.

If the answer is “No” and the caller is not at the “last known address”, the agent will obtain the full address and perform a look up to determine the correct emergency response authority and then transfer the call.

In either case, the agent announces the call to the emergency response authority, provides the information available and stays on the line long enough to confirm that the connection is good and that the two parties are communicating.

If the call is disconnected, the agent will call back to make voice contact and verify the caller’s location. If the agent is unable to make voice contact the call is transferred to the emergency response authority based on the last known address.

Note that if the caller is unable to speak or is non-responsive, the agent will transfer the call assuming that it originated at the last known address.

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