[VoiceOps] VOIP related 911 deaths

Jonathan Thurman jonathan at thurmantech.com
Tue Aug 25 14:27:02 EDT 2009

Being an emergency responder for my local small town, I can be pretty
opinionated when it comes to 911 service.  I would say that a much
larger problem than wrong E-911 data from a VoIP site would be cell
phone calls.  For cell phones that do not have GPS chips, they attempt
to triangulate the location based on what cell tower you are attached
to.  I have personally seen that method be more than 15 MILES off, as
well as be routed to the wrong 911 facility, in the wrong county.

PSTN has problems with 911 access too, as in this story where Verizon
took out a call center for 5 hours...


And don't get me started about the computer aided dispatching software
issues...  I always thought that copy and paste was supposed to crash
the entire system...


On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 11:01 AM, David Hiers<hiersd at gmail.com> wrote:
> Excellent point.  I guess I'm asking about anytime 911 and voip make
> CNN in a really bad way.
> On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 9:11 AM, Justin B Newman<justin at ejtown.org> wrote:
>> On Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 11:09 AM, David Hiers<hiersd at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> How many people have died because of mis-configured 911 VOIP services?
>>> I know of two such cases, one in FL and one in Calgary.
>> Do you mean to say, "How many people have died following a failed
>> attempt to dial 911 via VoIP"?
>> I would suggest that it is rare for medical professionals to say with
>> certainty that had a call been "correctly" terminated to a 911
>> operator that a person's life *would* have been saved.  Only that
>> there would have been an increased likelihood of the caller surviving.
>> Semantics, yes.  But ... a worthy distinction in my opinion.
>> Yours,
>> -jbn
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