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If you dial 911 from a cell phone but can't speak can your location be traced?
Jan 14, 2012 18:34 ETBack | Print Article
 Guest Name:MicheleEmail:  
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I was reading about the VOIP and having trouble reaching 911. I have a regular land line at present. My question is if someone was in trouble when they aren't at home ie choking and couldn't speak, or if they were stuck in a snow storm up North and didn't know their exact location, could 911 track their location from the cell phone?

Many people have given up their land line and only have a cell phone. It would be important to know that 911 responders can find you.

Thank you.

Cellular companies in Canada are required to provide location information to 911. At 911 we receive the actual phone number of the cellular device, the name of the owner of the phone and a GPS coordinate figure that allows us to locate the cellular phone user. The location comes in an X/Y format we can plot on a map.

For the most part, the locations have been quite accurate, but not always. It depends on where you are and what type of technology your cellular company uses. We have used the geographic location from 911 data several times and have had great success locating people.

VoIP is a very different technology and we have had difficulty pinpointing an exact location. Cellular technology has been around longer and has had more work completed to ensure location information is available to 911 and its emergency responders.