The Grand Junction Regional Communication Center recently converted their 9-1-1 delivery system from analog to digital. Along with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission, GJRCC is encouraging organizations with multiple telephone extensions to ensure their systems are correctly routing 9-1-1 calls to the center. The interaction between the new technology and improperly configured telephone systems could cause a delayed emergency response by not providing location information when the call is placed to 9-1-1.
“This is new technology, which many multi-line telephone systems have not encountered previously. If your system isn’t configured correctly, dispatchers might not get the correct location information, or any location information at all, when someone calls 9-1-1, which could delay emergency responders. It’s especially critical if someone were to call 9-1-1 and not be able to speak. Unless your phone system is programmed correctly, the call taker might not have any way to send you the help you need,” said Jennifer Kirkland, 9-1-1 Center Manager.
This update only affects those with multi-line telephone systems or primary branch exchange systems, such as schools, hospitals, government agencies, or large office buildings. However, even smaller medical facilities or care centers should test their systems to ensure that they are programmed correctly and can reach 9-1-1 in an emergency. Those affected should contact their information technology department or company responsible for their phone systems to ensure proper programming. This includes testing from remote locations to ensure all extensions can reach 9-1-1 and are sending correct location information. Test calls should be scheduled by calling 970-242-6707 and asking to test. Please do NOT call 9-1-1 to test your system without first calling the non-emergency number to ensure it is a good time to make a test call.
“We are in the process of conducting outreach to those we are aware are affected by this change. However, please don’t wait to be officially contacted to start taking steps to ensure your phone system is properly programmed. There is no way for us to know precisely which businesses or organizations will be affected,” said Kirkland.
More information on 9-1-1 multi-line telephone systems can be found here: https://www.fcc.gov/mlts-911-requirements
You can also visit the 9-1-1 Dispatch website for more information regarding technical details, which may be helpful to those responsible for programming phone systems.