Cell Phones Catching On To 911 - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

10/25/02-Smith County

Cell Phones Catching On To 911

   For 911 Operator Stephanie Stewart--getting people the help they need when the clock is ticking is tough, "They're panicked," she says. "So panicked that you can ask them they're name and they won't even know it."

   To make matters worse, if they call from a cell phone--she can't track a number or location. That was, until now. Smith County 911 network has a new tool that's solving the problems. Now a wireless phone will do the same job as a land line in an emergency. Recently all cell phone providers in East Texas jumped on board for the first phase--where phone numbers are now traceable. Within the next couple of years, a second phase of the wireless plan will be implemented where a cell phone caller can be pinpointed by location.

   The better the information, the sooner you can get help. In the month of September, Smith County 911 networks received nearly 11 thousand emergency calls, almost half of which were from cell phone callers.

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