Tips for calling 911 on a cell phone

By Jimmy McLemore

Webster County

911 Director

The Webster County 911 Center would like to pass along some information and tips on using cell phones for emergency 911 calls.

Anyone making a 911 call from a cell phone should remember the following:

The location of the nearest cell phone tower determines where a 911 call goes, not the location of the caller. If you place a call on a cell phone to 911 and you are in Webster County and the cell phone signal goes to a tower in another county (Choctaw, Oktibbeha, etc:) that 911 center will receive your call. Once you tell them you are in Webster County your call will be transferred to Webster County 911 Center. It literally takes less than maybe five seconds to transfer a call.

To get help to you, the dispatcher needs to know three pieces of information immediately: With the right information, the dispatcher will transfer you to the right center.

1. Give the dispatcher your name and phone number in case your call is disconnected.

2. Tell the dispatcher the exact location you’re calling from.

3. Tell the dispatcher what type of emergency you have.

Most of the time the location of the cell phone can be found with the equipment we use at the 911 center. The information you give the dispatcher will be used to verify your location.

Technology is always changing, and we at the Webster County 911 Center are updating our programs as new technology becomes available to better assist the citizens of Webster County.

Please remember that if you call Webster County 911 Center and you are connected to a different county 911 center, it is not your fault or the fault of your phone. It’s the location of the tower that your signal went to. Location data may never be perfect, but it’s always going to be a priority for those of us who send help to those who need help.

All cell phones activated or not have the ability to call 911. If you give a child an old cell phone to play with, please remember to remove the battery from the cell phone to prevent accidental calls to 911.

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