E911

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Recently the University’s IT team tackled a serious problem that faces many universities and other large organizations that have centralized telecommunications systems: the inability to provide accurate location information on 911 calls.

Location information provided through a centralized PBX in a traditional, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), or hybrid telecommunications environment may be either inaccurate or too general to help first responders find the exact emergency location. At the same time, 911 callers may be too ill, upset, or otherwise unable to provide an address and other details about the emergency. The result is greater risk to lives and/or property as responders spend time trying to find the emergency location.

Originally, 911 calls from Coppin State provided the 911 center with only one general location, regardless of where on campus the call originated. To address this, the University issued regulations requiring that all emergency calls be directed to the campus police, with location provided. Campus police would in turn notify 911 and meet the emergency responders when they arrived on campus. However, people still tended to call 911 directly. This resulted in the arrival of ambulances and fire trucks on campus that did not know the source location of the emergency call, and campus police could not direct them if they had not been notified about the location of the emergency.