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Vonage Just in case anyone else in my area is left with that burning question of will 911



Just in case anyone else in my area is left with that burning question of will 911 work as expected if I call it, here are the results of my test last Friday.

I first called the local Barlett police department to inquire as to how I should proceed. They warned me that if I called, regardless of stating that it was a test, that they would send a car to my house anyway. She then connected me to the 911 service provider that has the contract for my area. It was a company by the name of Ducom, not sure about the spelling. I explained to Ducom why I was wanting to perform the test. She stated that as long as I clearly communicate that it is a test and that I do not hang up prematurely, that they would not forward the dispatch to the police department, thus they would not show up at my house. There was a mention of a $0.50 charge that would apply for calling 911. This might be related to the national service I mention below.

So I tested it. I dialed 911. Almost immediately a person answered. I explained the reason for my call. He stated that he was an operator for a national 911 emergency dispatch service. His responsibility was to ensure that I was calling from the address that was on my account. We did verify that my location information did automatically show up on his screen. He stated that he has to verify that I am indeed calling from that location so that he can contact the appropriate local 911 dispatch center. They are contracted to do this, since we are capable of moving our Voip adapters to different locations. He stated that if I was not able to speak for some reason, that at the very least, he has to assume I am at the location on my account and will contact that local 911 dispatch center. When he contacts the local 911 dispatch center, he is required to announce my location, regardless of whether the information is sent electronically as well. So we proceeded. I told him I was indeed at that address. He then contacted the local 911 dispatch center. They answered immediately. He explained to them that I was testing my 911 capabilities. He also announced to them my address and phone number. After the local dispatch operator verified the information, the national operator disconnected and the call resumed with myself and the local operator. I again explained the reason for my call. She verified that my location information did automatically show on their screen. She also verified that her office is indeed responsible for dispatching fire, police, and ambulance services for my address. I then stated that I was satisfied and that concluded my test. I then thanked her. She said she was welcome and we ended the call.

The police never did come to my house after this call.

So, based on this, I feel reasonable assured that if anyone calls 911 from my house, even if they cannot speak, the appropriate local dispatch center will be contacted.

As for my location information being electronically transferred through this process, I am not 100% convinced. The national service received the information because that is on my Vonage account. Either Vonage transfers it with the call, or updates the national services databases when we change the 911 address registration on our account. I think it is the later, because Vonage warns you that even though you register your address, it is not 911 active until you receive a response from them stating as such. What this means to me is that once they update the national services databases, maybe once a day, they then send out their responses. The local dispatch center received the information from two different sources. An announcement from the national service and the electronic identification on their screen. It has only been about a month since I ported my original phone company number over to Vonage. I suspect it is possible that the information attached to my number is still in the system from the original phone company. It could have shown up on their screen because of the old phone company information. This is an assumption because I do not really know how this works. Regardless, at least they get the information communicated to them verbally as well.

Currently on my Vonage Dashboard I do not see any charge related to this call.

Hope this helps some of you.



Read The Full Thread:

911 Testing in Bartlett, ILL. (630 area code)


Great post with some good information. I want to test my 911 capablities too. I
twehrle I'm curious did you keep your old phone number when you switched to Vonage?
maryjane...I originally ordered Vonage as a new service, with a new number. I
let me rephrase my question. When you did your test call did you call from the new
maryjane...I performed this 911 test AFTER I completed the porting of my old phone
:wink: gotcha Thanks

twehrle posted "Just in case anyone else in my area is left with that burning question of will 911" on 01/10/2006

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1Unlimited calling and other services for all residential plans are based on normal residential, personal, non-commercial use. A combination of factors is used to determine abnormal use, including but not limited to: the number of unique numbers called, calls forwarded, minutes used and other factors. Subject to our Reasonable Use Policy and Terms of Service.

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HIGH SPEED INTERNET REQUIRED. †VALID FOR NEW LINES ONLY. RATES EXCLUDE INTERNET SERVICE, SURCHARGES, FEES AND TAXES. DEVICE MAY BE REFURBISHED. If you subscribe to plans with monthly minutes allotments, all call minutes placed from both from your home and registered ExtensionsTM phones will count toward your monthly minutes allotment. ExtensionsTM calls made from mobiles use airtime and may incur surcharges, depending on your mobile plan. Alarms, TTY and other systems may not be compatible. Vonage 911 service operates differently than traditional 911. See www.vonage.com/911 for details.

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