Every 9-1-1 system is unique to the area which it
serves however, there are generally two types of systems,
"Basic 9-1-1" and "Enhanced 9-1-1". Colbert County is
fortunate to have the Enhanced system. Contrary to popular
belief, the "E" in "E 9-1-1" comes from the word "enhanced"
and and not from "Emergency".
The Enhanced 9-1-1 System basically works the following
First, a caller dials the three digit emergency number
The telephone company then routes the call to a designated
Public Safety Answering Point or "PSAP", based on where
the caller's address is located.
When the call reaches the PSAP, the caller's location
information is displayed on a computer monitor and a
trained telecommunicator begins to process the call by
verifying the location of its origin.
- For cellular calls from older handsets or smaller
companies, the location is at least the location
of the cellular tower.
- Newer handsets on advanced cellular systems,
the exact location of the handset is displayed.
- Voice Over IP "VoIP" services are still in their
infancy and some providers do not yet have the capability
to provide enhanced 9-1-1 service for their customers.
Companies who have developed their system further
can provide the same enhanced 9-1-1 service as regular
"wired" telephone companies.
Upon determining the nature of the call, the
dispatches the appropriate agency to the emergency while
continuing any emergency instructions to the caller.