Partner: 911 ETC

Outgoing 9-1-1 calls present a challenge to your customers. Will the screen at the Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) show the correct address, or will help be dispatched to the wrong site? Is the location information granular enough to meet state legislation requirements? Will the call even route to the correct PSAP, or will an employee dialing from her home office in Atlanta find that the help on the other end of the line is hundreds of miles away?

Getting into the weeds of 9-1-1 regulations and details is a daunting task. Several of your customers are midstream in a transition from a TDM-based ALI management practice to having to navigate the waters of the mobility IP brings with it. Soft phones, SIP trunking, remote workers, remote sites – ensuring that every outgoing 9-1-1 call is going to work as advertised can quickly become a task that seems insurmountable. Yet, liability concerns and the greater issue of lives at stake demand that organizations address it.

Approaching your clients with the facts about 9-1-1 is a start. Are they aware that they must be proactive in ensuring that 9-1-1 works? Do they know how to test their system for it? Have they heard of the National Emergency Number Association’s suggested standard of 7,000 square feet for 9-1-1 location information? Do they reside in a state with legislation already enacted?

Following are questions you could ask to begin the conversation of E911:

Can a 9-1-1 call be made from any telephone device without requiring that an access code be dialed first? If the number ‘9’ or any other digit must be dialed before 9-1-1, it presents a safety hazard. There are likely features embedded within your existing system that can be enabled.

Will outgoing 9-1-1 calls include accurate location information? If E911 has not been properly set up, often times the Billing Telephone Number (BTN) is what will be pushed out, sending emergency responders to the site with no knowledge of where the emergency has occurred – or worse – to a different location altogether.

For an IP-PBX, will 9-1-1 calls route to the correct Public Safety Answering Point? If E911 has not been properly configured, an employee calling 9-1-1 from her home office in Dallas could be connected to emergency responders in Los Angeles.

Is on-site emergency notification in place? If your organization has a security team or a front desk, on-site emergency notification is warranted. It is possible to set up your system so that designated on-site personnel are notified via text message, email, or screen-pop in the event a 9-1-1 call is placed.

The discussion can then continue with the assistance of E911 experts. Some of the answers we would need from your clients in helping to determine the current E911 scenario include:

  • Is your PBX stand-alone or networked?
  • What type of PBX Administration/Maintenance Software do you use?
  • Is ANI/Caller ID pushed out to network? (ANI turned on?)
  • What is the number of DIDs? Non-DIDs? TDM phones? VoIP phones? Soft phones?
  • Are IP phone users allowed mobility?
  • Do you currently have location information of all phones in an existing database? If yes, in which platform is this information stored?
  • ISDN, DS-1, SIP, or CO trunks?

911 Emergency Telecom Company (911 ETC) partners with Carousel to help ensure the safety and security of your customers. With an E911 for Multi-Line Telephone Systems Bill already drafted for introduction at the Federal level, there has never been a more important time to reach out to them on this topic.

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