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City of Lincoln
Mayor's Office

2004 Media Releases

October 14, 2004
For More Information Contact:
Diane Gonzolas, Citizen Information Center, 441-7831
Julie Righter, Emergency Communications/911, 441-7252

Updated 911 System Will Lead to Locating Wireless Callers

Mayor Coleen J. Seng today announced that the Emergency Communications/911 Center for Lincoln and Lancaster County has installed a new system that will allow the Center to move forward with implementing a method for locating callers using wireless phones. The new digital PBX is being used to answer and dispatch 911, fire, emergency medical and law enforcement personnel.

“With more and more people using wireless phones, it is becoming increasingly important to locate and identify those who call 911 with wireless phones,” said Mayor Seng. “Updating our systems is essential to keeping residents safe and protected.”

“Our analog phone system was outdated and had been at capacity for several years due to the growth of the community and the increase in wireless traffic,” said Julie Righter, 911 Center Communications Coordinator. “The number of 911 calls made from wireless phones has increased more than ten times over the past decade. About 30 percent of 911 calls in the country now come from wireless phones, and that number is expected to more than double in the next few years.”

Righter said locating and identifying callers is important because callers are not always able to give dispatchers the necessary details. She said the first phase of wireless locating implementation will provide 911 dispatchers with the telephone number of the caller. The second phase will provide dispatchers with the location of the caller within 100 meters. The Nebraska Public Service Commission (PSC) is currently developing a statewide plan for deployment of wireless locating. The PSC provides funding for new technology through the wireless surcharge assessed by all wireless carriers.

The Centerís new PBX system also is integrated with a digital mapping system which was funded by the Cityís Capital Improvement Program earlier this year.

The Emergency Communications/911 Center is staffed by 35 full-time, public service dispatchers who answer multiple phone calls, monitor several radio channels and track the status of all emergency units. The Center is one of only 32 in the country accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies.

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