There are several types of devices that currently have the capability of accessing the 9-1-1 network. The following is some important information regarding landline phones, cellular phones, payphones, and VoIP phones.
The most reliable telephone is the traditional landline phone. Landline phones are connected to a telephone line within your home, so there is an accurate and specific address, as well as a correct call back number associated with them. Landline phones also display which emergency services respond to your location.
If your handset is cordless, be sure to instruct your child on how to turn on the phone and to remain close enough to the home to retain a strong signal.
IMPORTANT: During power outages, your cordless phone will NOT work. Because of this, It is highly recommended that you keep a hard-wired (corded) phone as a backup in case of an emergency during a power outage.
As long as cellular phones are charged, they are capable of dialing 9-1-1 even if there are no minutes left on the phone or service plan in effect. Cellular phones are mobile, so there is not a specific address associated with them.
Hillsdale County Central Dispatch is FCC Cellular Phase II capable. What this means is that if your cellular phone is Phase II compliant (GPS enabled), it will transmit to 9-1-1 not only your location via latitude and longitude coordinates with an accuracy of between 50 to 300 meters (approximately 164-984 feet), but it will also provide the phone's call back number, as well as the name of the person who owns the phone.
Cellular phones need to be near working cellular towers to work well. During long-term power outages, the towers in which you rely on to receive your cellular phone signal may lose power.
You do not need to deposit any money into a payphone to make a call to 9-1-1...it is a free call.
VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) is a phone service through your computer via the internet. VoIP providers are required by FCC rules to deliver 9-1-1 calls to the appropriate public safety answering point (PSAP). It is your responsibility to register your home address with your VoIP provider. Keep in mind that If you have a power outage, your VoIP service may be disabled.