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How 9-1-1 Works

How 9-1-1 Works

When you call 9-1-1 in Berks County, your call is answered by one of many highly qualified telecommunicators in our state-of-the-art communications center.  Ongoing evaluations of our response time shows that 99.2% of all 9-1-1 calls received are answered in under 10 seconds!  This sense of urgency along with our staff of over 60 telecommunicators illustrates our commitment to public safety in Berks County.  9-1-1 service in Berks County has been available since 1989 and continues to evolve as new technology is implemented.  With the implementation of our Smart911 service and new computer-aided-dispatching (CAD) solution, our service to the community has improved significantly since 1981 when the Communications Center began its operation.

The process of making a 9-1-1 call may appear seamless to the caller, however a network of services and facilities are used to ensure that the proper emergency services are sent to the proper location.  The diagram below illustrates the process in its simplicity in an attempt to better understand what is involved with dialing 9-1-1.

How 911 Works Diagram

The above diagram illustrates how 9-1-1 works when calling from a landline or wired phone.  With the growing population of cell phones, some people have opted to disconnect landline or wired phones and solely rely on cellular phones.  Although there are advantages and disadvantages to each format, the option of the 9-1-1 systems differs slightly when using cellular technology.

How 911 Wireless Works Diagram