When an emergency strikes, you pick up the phone and call 911. A helpful call taker confirms your address, gets the details of the emergency, and help arrives within minutes. Sounds simple, right?

It may not be. If you’re dialing 911 from an IP phone system, you need multiple systems to integrate and communicate to get you the help you need. What does the journey from call to receiving help look like? Read to discover what happens behind the scenes.

Step One: Calling 911

While IP telephony has advanced communications flexibility in the enterprise, it has simultaneously complicated E911 call delivery. Phones and devices can move anywhere on the enterprise network with ease, but locating callers in a crisis can be challenging if users don’t notify administrators for each and every location change.

Additionally, voice calls are now delivered from the enterprise network via a centralized data center rather than a local trunk. Thus, a 911 call placed anywhere on the enterprise network is often delivered to the PSAP serving the data center with the enterprise main billing address. In reality, the call must be delivered to the PSAP serving the caller’s true location, with the caller’s actual geographic coordinates.

Step 2: 911 Call Delivery

Once a 911 call exits the enterprise network, it then connects to the call routing network.

The call routing network is a patchwork across North America: some jurisdictions have implemented new Next Generation 911 technologies, while others are still using legacy systems. Depending on the call delivery network, the PSAP receives the caller’s location either directly in the call signaling or via a database query. If your enterprise is distributed across multiple jurisdictions in North America, you need to be able to connect to any call routing network, and understand the implications of connecting to PSAPs using these existing and emerging technologies.

Step 3: Dispatching Assistance

Once the call is received at the PSAP, trained call takers use special equipment to engage public safety responders. This technology enables an effective emergency response. It is essential that your enterprise delivers the information that call takers and first responders require, in the appropriate format, to get your 911 callers the assistance they require as quickly as possible.

Ready to explore next-generation public safety services? Speak to one of our 1,300 team members around the globe.

The Importance of a Full-Spectrum Approach to 911

West takes an end-to-end approach to 911, with teams and technologies focused on each step of the 911 call journey. Our expertise across the journey of a 911 call gives enterprises several key advantages in an emergency.

Contact your Carousel Representative today to learn how together, West and Carousel can equip your enterprise with the expertise of a full-spectrum 911 provider to keep your users safe in an emergency, minimize your enterprise’s liability risk, and facilitate 911 regulatory compliance.