SANATOGA PA – The five most important words you might someday say on a cell phone are “I’m calling from Montgomery County.”
Lower Pottsgrove Township officials this week were asked by the county Department of Public Safety to notify residents that anyone who makes an emergency 9-1-1 call using their cell phone from within the county’s borders should utter that five-word statement first when a dispatcher answers the phone.
The reason: faster, better responses.
The ability to make a cell phone call relies, in part, on the proximity of a broadcast tower. Depending on where they are on the highway, for example, calls made by drivers traveling U.S. Route 422 may be handled by towers in Montgomery, or surrounding Chester or Berks counties. A 9-1-1 call relayed from a Chester County tower will likely be answered by Chester dispatchers, even though the emergency may be a county away.
“Neighboring 9-1-1 centers will transfer the call to Montgomery County,” according to the public safety department, “but the time it takes to figure the actual location out, transfer the call, and then supply the information about the incident again could make a difference in saving someone’s life.”
“Stating ‘I’m calling from Montgomery County’ at the outset will greatly reduce any delay in getting people the help they need,” it added.
The township distributed the county’s message Tuesday (Sept. 25, 2012) from its Facebook page, here.
By the way, the problem doesn’t occur with landlines; you know … those old-fashioned wired-to-the-wall phones that still exist in some homes. Emergency calls from those, the safety experts said, are automatically routed to the proper call center.
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