Knowing your location can help 9-1-1 dispatchers

Emergency 9-1-1 dispatches have relied on a caller to tell them an exact address for many years when there is an emergency.

But now thanks to improved technology and more cell phone towers going online, many dispatch centers can locate a cell phone caller to within a few yards or even a few feet.

But what happens when a caller is on a cell phone and gives out the wrong location that doesn't correspond to the map coordinates that might be appearing on a map at the 9-1-1 center?

That's what happened on Monday when a woman called in to report she had been in an accident, yet the bits of information didn't add up.

The person involved in the accident told dispatches they were on a county road, while in fact they were really on the next road over which was about a half mile away.

When E-M-S and police arrived on the scene there was nothing to be found and they had to get the caller back on the phone and ask again where they were at and where the accident was located.

Steve Rowlands is the director of the Adams County 9-1-1 Center and he said, "so it's best to be upfront, if you have a pretty good idea where you are, tell the dispatcher where you are. But if you're not sure, tell them you're not sure and let us use our technology to try to locate that position a bit better."