how does 911 call work?

Discussion in 'Hangar Talk' started by WannFly, Nov 25, 2017.

  1. WannFly

    WannFly Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    so i was driving back from airport today and saw a guy/gal doing S-Turns and Turn around a point on the other lane with oncoming traffic... then s/he took a steep turn to the left with screeching tires and started doing S-Turns again on the opposite lane. either the dude is drunk or had a stroke... either ways needed help. so like a good Samaritan i dialed 911. rang for few times, then went blank but the line was active, then few beeps and then someone answered who asked me for my phone number and then i had to spell out my name and then the report.

    i have called 911 before and they always have my number and (i suspect) my name since i had to go thru a bazillion background checks for stuff ...

    after i hung up, i got a call after 2 mins from 911 and lady asks me we got a missed call from your number ..whats up? told her what happened, she went her way.

    so how does this all work? the first time it went kinda unanswered and got routed to some other agency?
     
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Never mind that, what happened? Did you stick around?
     
  3. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Sometimes there are routing issues with 911 calls from cell phones if you happen to cross lines between different public service answering points (PSAP or emergency commuications center) during the call. The callback you received may have been a separate center from the one that you spoke to.
     
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  4. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    First push the 9 button, then the 1 button followed by pushing the 1 button again.

    I spent years looking for the 11 button....

    Unless your cell phone looks like mine....

    [​IMG]
     
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  5. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    this make me laugh...

    my door lock has 5 buttons 1 2, 3 4, 5 6, 7 8, 9 0.

    The code for the house cleaners is 1268. [second two characters are not correct for security reasons]

    I get a call from them... we can't get in... "there is no sixty-eight on the keypad."

    I'm like WTF. then I realized she was thinking twelve (which seems to be there) sixty-eight (which is not). I said... no, it isn't 12, 68, it is 1, 2, 6, 8.

    Here's the lock: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00NT1OX5...t=&hvlocphy=9027283&hvtargid=pla-314066308682
     
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  6. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    911 from a cell phone can sometimes be problematic. Sometimes the call gets bounced around the system and ends up in a completely different area. We had a call once get relayed from a county clear on the other side of the state. That is why I usually keep the direct number for our local dispatchers saved in my phone. Makes life easier knowing I'm talking to the right dispatch center.
     
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  7. WannFly

    WannFly Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Nope... had to rush back home...nature was calling... very loudly

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  8. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Blond, much?
    Sounds like the 710 oil cap.
     
  9. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I'll soon be rich. Going to build an app that detects from your gps/cell triangulation which dispatch to direct your 911 call to. Can't be that hard. Sort of surprising the authorities have not had it done already in view that 911 can be a life or death call.
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So you get us all curious, then bailed out? You couldn't go in the median or something?
     
  11. WannFly

    WannFly Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I thought u can kiss in public but can't pi** in public in this country

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  12. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Who can't?!
     
  13. WannFly

    WannFly Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I am little surprised too, for all previous calls they knew my number, asked for my name but never asked me to spell it out, so I am kinda sure they had it on their screen. My name is not something u hear everyday. Kinda mind boggling if I was having a stroke, called them for help and then play 20 questions

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  14. WannFly

    WannFly Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Lol

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  15. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Every agency is different and many are lacking the basic technically to keep up with modern times. Used to be that all cell 911 call got routed to the Highway Patrol dispatch...now since there is the mass abandonment of land lines, they try and send your cell call to the local dispatch based on your location and there is no standardization on how the center can receive or process that call when routed since the while system was built on the sting and two can from a fixed location technology.
     
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  16. pikespeakmtnman

    pikespeakmtnman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The dispatcher asked for your name and number in case you were disconnected, number first so they could at least call back and your name second so they make sure they can talk to you again.... Just like they likely asked you first for the location of the inicident and then what was going on, so if the call got dropped they could at least send a cop out to see what was going on

    None of your information as far as your background checks would come up on a dispatch computer screen, at least probably not, maybe just your call history
     
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  17. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Already done. Kinda. Doesn’t always work.

    Having built a couple of similar telecom systems and also having worked on the other side of the headset in the days before E911, when all we had was a blinking light and no caller ID/ANI info, or address/georeferencing info, and we had to ask where you were, or get the phone company to trace the call... and they wouldn’t trace calls after-hours, so if you couldn’t talk, you were probably going to bleed out... unless we could get you to describe some landmarks...

    Let’s just say there’s a lot of things that can go wrong in an E911 call route from a cell phone. But things have gotten a LOT better since I was an intern Sheriff’a dispatcher.

    Not the least of which is simply crossing jurisdictional boundaries if you’re moving. I once chased a drunk driver (I shouldn’t have, but I was ****ed. He ran over the right front bumper of our Honda Accord at 60 MPH on the highway with his lifted truck. I was amazed he didn’t kill us all, right then...) through five jurisdictions. Got transferred five times during the call. He got away.

    But remember, your phone call may be being handled by a cell site a few miles from where you are. And the GPS data in your smartphone is not sent in any meaningful way to the dispatch center usually. It’s usually only AGPS from the network, which is an estimate of your position in relation to the cell sites that hear your phone the best, and that’s a constantly changing thing. It only works with any consistency or accuracy when you’re not moving. Newer phones can embed their location into the call control data stream but not all dispatch facilities have any way to receive or display it.

    The stuff to do that is hideously expensive. You don’t want to know how expensive.

    The initial “hang up” was probably the network routing you to one dispatch facility by location and then a call drop. The network is programmed to try to NOT drop a 911 call, as is your phone, so the next tower probably auto-connected you to its pre-programmed dispatch center during a bad call handoff between the two towers.

    The phone and the network will try a lot harder to connect an emergency call than a non-emergency one nowadays. Higher timeouts on bad signal, holding the phone in an off-hook status longer, more power to the frequency your phone is on at the detriment of dropping other calls, telling the phone to go to higher power on its transmitter, etc.

    Problem is, you’re mixing cell routing with oddball call routing. For you the end user, you dial one number. The network has to e programmed behind the scenes that “911” goes to all sorts of different actual routing numbers you don’t dial.

    Life-Safety stuff is engineered very carefully and tested by more than one person, unlike almost everything else in telecom. But I’ve seen a typo mess up call routing for a telecom system that tracked lost military nuclear materials, and also seen one mis-set clock source nearly scrub a missile test at White Sands. Human error still lurks in the settings.

    Telecom is a mess on wireline. Doing it over tiny pocket radios only makes it worse. I’m somewhat amazed it works at all, really.
     
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  18. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pre-Flight

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    Regarding the locks with the 1-2, 3-4, etc buttons, I never "got it", as to why there would be two numbers on a button. If you're going to use only five buttons, label them 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

    Ford cars did this with their keyless entry, as well, and again... don't get it.
     
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  19. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    So you can give two different people two different numbers and they won’t know each other’s combinations, silly! :) :) :)

    I can have 1,3,5,7 and you can have 2,4,6,8 and both of our codes are secure!!!!! Hahahahahahha

    (Actually in some security models this sort of thing IS done, but it’s so you can trace where the leak came from, when someone gives a code to someone they’re not supposed to have. But I don’t think anyone will be using the keypad on a Ford to launch any nuclear missiles, so... not much need to know if it was mom or Little Johnny who told the neighbor kid the code so he could lock the raccoon inside the Family Truckster.)

    Honestly, it’s just a cheap ass way to turn a five button keypad into a ten digit one. So people can use whatever number they like.

    If you ask for a six digit code it’ll usually be a kid’s birthday.

    ...

    And change the combination on my luggage!
     
  20. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The system defaults to connecting you with someone rather than dropping the call. Borders between jurisdictions rarely mirror the distribution of cell towers. After you are connected, modern E911 systems do have the capability to confirm the correct location using the built in GPS. If the call is from a neighboring jurisdiction all it takes is a button push to transfer the call to the correct center. I have talked to Becker county sheriff, Minnesota state patrol and White Earth tribal police all in the same 911 call.
     
  21. wrbix

    wrbix Cleared for Takeoff

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    9-1-1. --> when seconds count, we're just minutes away.

    .....but seriously, we are really well served by this system. Many lives saved, disasters averted.
     
  22. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    I thought the first question the dispatcher asked is "what's the nature of your emergency?" I can't believe they would ask a bunch of other questions first.
     
  23. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    Thought you would never ask!!!!

     
  24. WannFly

    WannFly Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    They did. Then the other questions ...

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  25. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "It's 3AM and your children are sleeping. Who do you want answering the phone?..." :D

    911 is very inconsistent across the US. Some places do actually use GPS, for a lot of them it's still triangulation (at least initially), and the center switching the call may be far away from either you or the dispatch center. Some areas/regions outsource their 911 and dispatch centers, which adds to the mess. But a lot of the country is still behind the curve. (At least the days of paper dispatch cards and mechanical routing are gone...).

    On major roads, travelers often don't accurately tell the direction of the incident and GPS is not that good - around here, it means that a response to an accident on say the DC Beltway involves 2 fire/rescue stations, one on the outrage loop and one on the inner.


    And into that, we're going to throw OneNet with the promise of interoperability.
     
  26. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Hmm not sure I followed all that Nate, did you say this:

    1.jpg
     
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  27. Sac Arrow

    Sac Arrow Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A few years ago I tailed a drunk on the 80 who was merging in and out of the left hand shoulder. 911 wouldn't answer. Period. I tried the operator for a local Sheriff number, but no dice. Finally, after he hit two cars and exited, I just said F it and kept going.
     
  28. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    The little town I live in is surprisingly modern on their 911 system. I have an out of state phone number on my cell and they pick me up every time. Well, all 3 times I have called 911.

    I am not sure how it works on the reservations.
     
  29. Rushie

    Rushie Cleared for Takeoff

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    Bwa ha ha!! The person who called in themselves as a drunk driver. These are hilarious. Also sad, they should jail the ones calling in that McDonald's didn't give them the right burger for tying up 911 resources.
     
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  30. AKBill

    AKBill Cleared for Takeoff

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    My wife and I flew into Nashville and rented a Dodge Charger. It was about 8pm, I tried to adjust the rear view mirror and hit the 911 button that was on the mirror and got the 911 operator. Totally surprised I explained it was a rental car and there was no problem here....:)
     
  31. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A frequent dispatch around here is 'Oh, around a mile south of Fords store, at the bend'. Now try to feed that into a CAD system..... And GPS is no help because callers often enough don't stop and the GPS call location is miles from the accident scene.

    There is an additional reason for the dispatch of two companies in opposing directions on the beltway. The units coming IN the direction of the accident get snared by the inevitable backup. With our moron drivers incapable of leaving an alley for the response, it may take them longer than the units in the opposite direction. The units on the opposite side block the left lane and if the main company is not there yet, they take whatever they need (tools, medic bag, attack line) across the narrow median.

    Lol.
     
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  32. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Yes, there is a problem..... the rear view mirror is talking to me..!!!!!:lol::lol::lol:
     
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  33. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    We like to joke about these systems, but sometimes they actually work. About a year ago we had a local case where someone managed to roll their SUV on one of the back-roads. The system reported the airbag deployment to the monitoring center, and when they couldn't get hold of the driver they reported the crash to our county dispatch center. Now, the on-star folks dont seem to have a problem getting a precise GPS location. They pinpointed the wreck location with yardage from the closest intersection.
     
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  34. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    I had to stop watching. That pursuit pushing 90 in residential areas was too stupid to ignore in the background.
     
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  35. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "It's 3AM and your children are sleeping. Who do you want answering the phone?..." :D
    Yeah, an issue in more rural areas. Where I have my land, everyone in the county knows where Tom's Market is... Not so outsiders. CAD has nary a clue. Fortunately, Tom's Market is next to one of the VFD stations.
    Ever since they put the toll lanes on the Beltway, this has not been a problem.
     
  36. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    Yes, too much traffic to be at those speeds in the neighborhood.

    But listening to that audio....millennials that think they are entitled and get easily offended. Will they be remembered as the whining generation.??
     
  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Millennials are well into parenthood. The whining thing is way bigger than just millennials.
     
  38. Getonit

    Getonit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    No reason this 911 call shouldnt work.....i am pretty sure there is an extra fee on my cell phone bill for it or some other related horsecrap.
     
  39. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    There’s an extra tax for “rural broadband” too. LOL. Good luck finding any.

    What would levying a tax have to do with anything actually working? ;)
     
  40. Getonit

    Getonit Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I should have used my patented sarcasm font.
     
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