SDN Blog

New 911 Technology Saves More Lives

Posted on Monday, August 31, 2009

Blog written by

A recent article from USA Today, August 17, 2009, describes a tragic scene. An injured 39-year old mother of two, calls 911 from her cell phone and struggles to clearly tell the operator her apartment address. Hearing only a muffled address, the 911 operator directs emergency responders to the wrong apartment—28 miles away. When paramedics finally reached the woman, it was too late. She died at the hospital of a blood clot in her lungs. Could this woman have been saved if there was better technology in locating emergency 911 cell phone calls? SDN thinks it would’ve helped. In fact, in most areas of South Dakota, a situation like this will not be a problem. SDN Communications has been instrumental in a technology called Phase II Wireless. Almost every county and reservation in South Dakota has upgraded the equipment in their 911 call centers to this technology thanks to SDN. What exactly is Phase II Wireless? When someone makes a cell phone call to 911, there are towers that allow for the latitude and longitude coordinates of the caller to be precisely located and sent to the call center. The 911 call-taker is presented with that location information and a map to assist them in directing emergency responders (fire, police, ambulance) to the caller in need. Providing this 911 technology may be one of SDN’s specialties, but the impact it has on saving lives is even more special.