911 Vonage Problem

060515-cambria-911By Fox 8 WWCP

A desperate 911 call in Ohio ends with dispatchers in Cambria County. An important lesson for anyone using an internet based phone service. A 911 call placed Thursday morning to Cambria County 911 started off like any other medical emergency call but those at 911 say this call was anything but ordinary. The woman calling for help was in Streetsboro Ohio three hours away from the Cresson Township address attached to her phone service. 911 Officials say the woman had a voice over internet protocol phone service or VOIP. The service allows users to plug a modem into a computer and have service. The problem was Cambria County 911 Dispatchers don’t have readily available information for dispatchers in Ohio. 911 Dispatchers quickly searched for a number to reach Emergency Crews for the Akron suburb and soon learned the woman had called her daughter before dialing 911 and an ambulance was on the way. Cambria County says it took 22 minutes from the time they got the call before help arrived. The woman’s service provider Vonage states in their terms of service that 911 service is different for their subscribers than that of traditional wire line or cellphone 911 calls. The VOIP provider says tells customers when signing up for service that they must verify and confirm the address they will be using the service from and that they remind customers to update their address saying 911 calls may be sent to the emergency center near the old address. Cambria County urges all VOIP users to double check the information attached to their service to ensure their call is properly directed in an emergency situation.

Read more: http://www.fox8tv.com/News/NewsDetails.asp?NewsID=17473

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