Because there is no area code connected with these devices, calls from them are routed through a 9-1-1 center as having a 911 area code. If you've spent a day answering calls at a 9-1-1 center, you've definitely noticed that calls with a 911 area code are difficult to handle. There aren't enough staff to take all the information given by callers. Also, many people don't realize they can get help for themselves or someone else by calling 9-1-1.
There are two types of emergency phone numbers: telephone numbers and Internet addresses. Telephone numbers are assigned to specific locations. For example, 1-800-THE-FLOWER refers to a particular organization. When you call this number, you will always reach the customer service department of THE FLOWER COMPANY. You cannot guess what number you will be connected to by using this information alone. In fact, there are more than 200 million unique telephone numbers in the United States. It is not feasible for any organization to have a relationship with every caller who dials one of their numbers.
Internet addresses are also called websites or URL's (Uniform Resource Locators). These are the complete paths you use to access websites. They usually begin with http:// followed by the domain name.
Historically, 911 dispatchers were unable to pinpoint the locations of cell phone callers as precisely as those calling from landlines. This location information must be accessible for at least 50% of wireless 911 calls, with the requirement increasing to 70% in 2020. Otherwise, carriers cannot charge for emergency services.
However, this will change in 2018 when all major U.S. mobile phone carriers begin testing a service that will provide accurate locations for up to seven years from time of death. The system uses satellites and computer technology that is more effective at determining location than tower triangulation. It can also identify which cell tower your phone connected to at any given moment, allowing police to track down suspects even if they changed phones or used multiple devices during the crime.
This new capability comes at a time when police are better able to determine where crimes were committed using other evidence such as physical addresses on documents like driver's licenses and insurance cards, along with GPS data from vehicles involved in crimes.
Carriers expect to introduce a fee for this service, which could be prohibitive for some users. However, it may help them attract more customers by demonstrating that they are willing to share location information during emergencies. In addition, these fees could help defray the costs of operating the program.
911 is not a city code. It is a spam call if you receive a phone call that begins with what looks to be area code 911. There are no phone numbers such as 911-xxx-xxx. 911 is an abbreviated phone number that is used to give emergency help in the United States and Canada. Only real emergency services should use this number. Other types of calls may be made in error or as part of a scam. These calls will usually begin with what appears to be an official-sounding number but what is actually a spambot calling for money.
In fact, there are only six cities in the United States that have actual 911 phone codes: New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, Toronto, and Montreal. The other areas that appear on our phones to be codes for these cities when in fact they're not. For example, San Francisco's phone code is 415, but it's not listed as being for Chicago's police department. Instead, it turns out that a large number of spammers from China using fake phone numbers to make money by placing orders for goods and services online have come to know that if they start their dialing with 9 then follow it up with 1 (or 11) and then tell us they're from Chicago's police department, we'll fall for it every time. So they start with 913 instead.
Spam calls related to emergency services are a huge problem because they put people at risk of serious injury or death.
911 lines are reserved for emergency calls, such as reporting a crime in progress, a fire, or seeking an ambulance. Using 911 for non-emergency calls may cause persons in true crises to be delayed in receiving assistance. For non-emergency calls to police and other government services, several localities have assigned the number 3-1-1. This number can be used to report crimes online through various websites, such as www.311crimes.com. Additionally, some cities now offer text messages using the short code "text 911" to report crimes in progress or other emergencies.
In most areas of the United States, 911 is a free national public safety telephone number that can be used by anyone to request emergency services. The number can be called from any phone to report a crime in progress, traffic accident, fire, medical emergency, or other incident requiring police or other first responders' attention.
When you call 911, you will usually get directed to the proper agency based on where you need help. These agencies may be local police departments, county sheriffs' offices, state police, federal law enforcement officers, or other agencies depending on where you need help. Each agency has its own jurisdiction; therefore, they may have different requirements for who can make a call and what information must be included in the call. Some examples of people who cannot make 911 calls are convicted felons, minors under the age of 18, or patients in psychiatric hospitals. They may be able to make 3-1-1 calls instead.