Not all phones dial 911

Are you able to reach a local 911 operator from your telephone? According to Lovell Police Department’s head dispatcher Ron Salyer, this is a question residents should be asking themselves before an emergency situation occurs.

Salyer said he is concerned that some individuals may think they have local 911 service on their telephone but do not, since certain types of phones, like voice over IP phones (VOIP) offered by companies like Vonage and MagicJack may not automatically come with this service. Salyer suggests that individuals call their telephone provider to find out if the service is available and as a preventative measure to make sure the service is installed on their telephone.

“Since these services are becoming more and more popular because of cheap rates that are heavily advertised, more people have this type of phone,” explained Salyer. “We just want people to be aware that this type of phone does not necessarily come with 911 service. In some cases it’s an extra service offered but needs to be ordered.”

Salyer said it’s best for people to know in advance what service they have on their phones and not to find out the hard way during an emergency.

“We just want to make sure that when people need help, they are able to call us,” said Salyer. “That’s why we want to bring this to their attention.”

by Patti Carpenter