E911 Helps Locate Cell Phone Calls In Iowa Counties
Emergency dispatchers in 26 Iowa counties are using Phase II of the E911 system to pinpoint the exact location, within 100 feet, of a cell phone caller with an emergency; at least 55 more Iowa counties plan to upgrade their systems over the next six months, according to Iowa Department of Homeland Security 911 program manager John Benson. Phase I of the E911 system provided emergency dispatchers in all Iowa counties with cell phone tower information that forced them to conduct a seven-mile radius search around a cell phone tower for callers. Benson believes Phase II will significantly improve service to the state’s roughly 45,000 emergency calls from a cell phone that the county receives each month. Meanwhile, Nebraska is still working to implement Phase I in all of its counties; just 46 of the state’s 93 counties are currently using the Phase I version of the E911 system, according to Nebraska Public Service Commission 911 wireless coordinator Kara Thielen. Cell phone users pay for the E911 system by paying either 65 cents per month in Iowa or 50 cents per month in Nebraska. Improvements to the system will eventually include altitude information, so if an emergency is located in a skyscraper, emergency dispatchers know what floor to send emergency personnel.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Omaha World-Herald (NE) (11/03/04) P. 3B; Rhodes, Marion .