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Colorado County Works to Boost 911 Calls After Tech Upgrade

New 911 call technology could delay emergency response for those with unconfigured systems by routing calls to the wrong public safety answering point or failing to provide location information, officials warn.

by Trevor Reid, Greeley Tribune / March 3, 2021

(TNS) — As Colorado converted 911 systems to IP-based digital technology in 2020, some phone systems may have been left behind.

The Weld County Department of Public Safety Communications and the Colorado Public Utilities Commission are encouraging organizations with multiple phone extensions to ensure their phone systems are correctly routing calls to 911 dispatchers. The new technology could delay emergency response for those with unconfigured systems by causing the unconfigured systems to route calls to the wrong public safety answering point or failing to provide location information, according to a county news release.

The update only impacts those with multiline phone systems or primary branch exchange systems, including schools, government agencies, hospitals or other large office buildings. No issues have been identified so far in Weld County.

Those affected should contact their information technology departments to ensure their phone systems are properly configured. To confirm 911 calls go through correctly, contact the Weld County Regional Communications Center at (970) 350-9600 to schedule a test call.

"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," Weld Public Safety Communications Director  Mike Wallace  said in the release. "It's important organizations double check the compatibility of their phone systems to eliminate these issues during an emergency."

For more information on 911 multiline telephone system requirements, go to www.fcc.gov/mlts-911-requirements.

(c)2021 the Greeley Tribune (Greeley, Colo.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.


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