General Question

RocketSquid's avatar

If I call 911 in Columbus, but my cell phone is from Pittsburgh, which city's emergency service will it connect me to?

Asked by RocketSquid (3475points) June 8th, 2010

I’m currently in Columbus, but I haven’t bothered to change my area code since I got my cell phone. If I have to call 911, which city will it connect me to?

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13 Answers

iLove's avatar

An Ocean Rescue captain in my CPR class said that your 911 call goes to the town your number originates from, so you actually have to ask for the 911 service in the town you are currently calling from.

filmfann's avatar

911 calls from a cell phone go to the highway patrol, not to a city.
At least it does in California

Dr_C's avatar

There is a local “command center” which is where the phone response unit for 911 is located in every major county of the US. Wherever you call from (no matter where your number is from) the call is directed to the nearest one.

Don’t forget, you don’t dial an area code for 911.

WestRiverrat's avatar

It used to go to the town the phone was registered in. Now it is routed to the 911 call center nearest to the tower that initiates the call.

MissA's avatar

Yes on the nearest center that initiates the call. Good to know.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Nearest cell tower controls 911 response. I know when I reported a wild fire on side of the road in a military reserve I ended up with guard post on post.

I was several states away from home area code.

perspicacious's avatar

@iLove In my experience, the 911 call will go to the local 911 center; not to the one in your local calling area (home market). Not all centers locate the phone by satellite—more and more are. You will be asked for your location when you call unless that center has satellite based GPS, and even then they will verify where you are.

iLove's avatar

I forgot to mention that I was told it was certain carriers – and yes it depends on your GPS abilities. Definitely for AT&T – you will be routed to your home emergency service.

perspicacious's avatar

@iLove You are incorrect. With AT&T you will be routed to the local 911 center. I have AT&T service and have called 911 on the other side of the country and the call was answered in the local center, not the center in my own market. It is possible that it is different in different markets, latas, or states. So, there may not be one correct answer here.

GeorgeGee's avatar

911 calls are routed based on the cell towers that receive the call, so the routing is always handled local to where you are at the time. Some municipalities don’t have a 911 call center, so it might ring on the sheriff’s desk, and might even be forwarded to his home.

mowens's avatar

I thought it was based on cell tower…..

stranger_in_a_strange_land's avatar

I live in a border town in New Hampshire. My cell carrier is in Vermont. A 911 call would go to a sheriffs dispatcher in VT and have to be relayed back to NH. I keep the standard phone number for the Grafton County NH dispatcher in my cell register.

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