911 Technology May Affect Multiline Phone Systems

Published on March 01, 2021

911 technology may affect multiline phone systems

After the statewide conversion of 911 systems to IP-based digital technology last year, the Weld County Department of Public Safety Communications, along with the Colorado Public Utilities Commission (PUC), is encouraging organizations with multiple phone extensions to ensure their systems are correctly routing calls to 911 dispatchers.

According to a memo from the PUC, the new technology could cause unconfigured phone systems to route 911 calls to the wrong public safety answering point or fail to provide the dispatcher with location information for the caller, delaying emergency response. The update only impacts entities with multiline phone systems or primary branch exchange systems, such as schools, government agencies, hospitals, or other large office buildings. To date, no issues have been identified in Weld County.

“Because this is new technology, if systems are not configured correctly, there is a possibility things won’t go as smoothly when calling 911. Your call could go to a dispatch center further away from your location and our dispatchers may not be able to identify location information like call extensions or building locations,” said Mike Wallace, Director of the Weld County Department of Public Safety Communications. “It’s important organizations double check the compatibility of their phone systems to eliminate these issues during an emergency.”

Next steps

• Organizations using multiline phone systems or primary branch exchange systems should contact their Information Technology Departments to ensure the phone system is configured correctly.
• To confirm 911 calls go through correctly, call the Weld County Regional Communications Center at (970) 350-9600 to schedule a test call.

To learn more about 911 multiline telephone system requirements, visit https://www.fcc.gov/mlts-911-requirements. To learn more about the Weld County Department of Public Safety Communications, visit https://www.weldgov.com/departments/public_safety_communications.