Prov­ince launches en­hanced cel­lu­lar 911 sys­tem

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE -

SYD­NEY — Nova Sco­tia can bet­ter trace the lo­ca­tion of cell­phone users in an emer­gency thanks to an im­prove­ment in the pro­vin­cial 911 sys­tem.

The launch of the en­hanced cel­lu­lar 911 sys­tem comes af­ter more than two years of col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween the wireless in­dus­try and the prov­ince’s Emer­gency Man­age­ment Of­fice, which ad­min­is­ters the prov­ince’s 911 ser­vice.

EMO Min­is­ter Ra­mona Jen­nex said the sys­tem has been ex­ten- sively tested and pro­vides an ap­prox­i­mate lo­ca­tion of a wireless phone by es­ti­mat­ing lon­gi­tude and lat­i­tude co-or­di­nates.

“I am pleased to see Nova Sco­tia be one of the first in Canada to pro­vide this im­por­tant pub­lic safety im­prove­ment provincewide,” said Jen­nex in a press release.

Prior to the sys­tem change, the lo­ca­tion of cell­phone callers could only be es­ti­mated to within the area of the near­est cell­phone tower.

EMO said de­spite the new tech­nol­ogy, it is im­por­tant for callers to try to pro­vide their ex­act lo­ca­tion to the dis­patch ser­vice.

This is par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant if cell­phone callers are in places that make global po­si­tion­ing tech­nol­ogy more dif­fi­cult, such as in an un­der­ground park­ing lot.

Nova Sco­tia helped lobby to have the Cana­dian Ra­dio Tele­vi­sion and Telecom­mu­ni­ca­tions Com­mis­sion di­rect the in­dus­try to pro­vide wireless, lo­ca­tion-based ser­vices.

Last Fe­bru­ary, the CRTC set a one-year dead­line for the ser­vice to be in place wher­ever there are 911 pro­grams.

The pro­vin­cial EMO of­fice said most cell­phones are now de­signed to au­to­mat­i­cally al­low their lo­ca­tion to be traced for calls to 911.

Cus­tomers should con­tact their wireless ser­vice provider if they have ques­tions about their cell­phone or the tech­nol­ogy.

More in­for­ma­tion can be found at­tent/911.

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