During the Coffee County Commission’s regularly scheduled meeting on Monday, Marvin McIlwain of E-911 addressed the fee and assembly attendees concerning distressing troubles E-911 has seen lately.
According to McIlwain, the trending abandonment of landline phones and transfer to primary cell telephone usage is proof of technological advancements E-911 works to match each day; however, not all provider carriers are alike, and county citizens should be aware of the variations before they discover themselves in an emergency state of affairs.
“I need to warn you: all cellular phones are not alike. Some offerings are better than others in relation to place,” McIlwain stated. “911 serves two purposes: (for you) to be able to talk to us or get to us and to offer us your vicinity. If you can’t talk to us, if you couldn’t talk to the dispatcher, it’s very essential that we recognize wherein you are. Technology is there, but it doesn’t all paintings alike, and I might encourage you to be privy to how properly your service gives the region to dispatchers.”
Landline provider providers are extra troubling than cell smartphone service companies in a few cases, but. McIlwain stated that a current fashion has been to cancel landline carrier with corporations like CenturyLink and switch over to the new voice-over IP, or VoIP, cellphone service; unluckily, VoIP carrier ought to have brought on a huge problem for a few county residents final week.
“Most absolutely everyone has a cellular smartphone, but in the event that they do have a landline, they’re going to internet protocol telephone provider, and that they’re now not all alike either,” McIlwain said. “We’re one of the few 911 structures that video display units our databases — and once I say our databases are monitored, each day I get daily updates from the phone carrier from the landline human beings who’ve gotten telephones or have deleted it. People are keeping their so-called landline and are hooking it to their internet provider, voice over IP, and there are numerous vendors for that. I ran into a circumstance that simply me: a flag went up while a certain bank of phones had been being deleted, so I referred to as the telephone to make certain it became either deleted or still in the provider. The smartphone turned into still in the provider, however, it looked love it had been deleted; it turned into leaving CenturyLink’s service, but they don’t tell me who it’s going to. It went to VoIP provider. I requested them in the event that they’d checked to look if they might dial 911, and that they said no. I stated, ‘While I have you ever on the road, I need you to have someone with one of the other phones dial 911.’ They did so and got a hectic sign. 911 doesn’t provide out busy alerts — if Elba is tied up, it would have rolled to Enterprise; had Enterprise been tied up, it would have rolled to Dothan. But this name was a busy sign. That’s not suited.”
McIlwain stated that the problem is being rectified and he’s personally maintaining tabs on the scenario; however, he urged other county residents to make certain they may be capable of reach 911 before an emergency arises and gave instructions to accomplish that accurately.
“If you’re converting to voice over IP in your home phone, test along with your issuer and see if you can reach 911, and don’t take their phrase for it,” McIlwain stated. “All you have to do is name Elba Dispatch on their landline, 897-2555, or you may call Enterprise Dispatch at 347-2222 and inform them you’d like to make a check call to 911. We’re very accommodating except they’re tied up on a 911 call, and that they’ll inform you if they can’t, but check that smartphone: call 911 and make certain that they could inform you wherein you are. If they couldn’t let you know in which you’re, your provider is not giving an IP cope with. We don’t need a word to get out that 911 was busy — we don’t get busy. If you have any questions, sense free to return to our office.”
Commissioner Jimmy Jones brought that residents have to heed McIlwain’s advice.
“We have one of the pleasant EMA and E-911 services within the country of Alabama — these men are always enhancing, so don’t take this information with no consideration,” Jones said. “Do what he said to do, due to the fact in a time of emergency, you don’t have mins to waste.”