911 & Cellular Phones

  • Generally, cellular phones are not as reliable as landline phones. The cellular signal may become distorted or the signal may be dropped resulting in a disconnection with the 911 Telecommunicator before you have given all your emergency information.
  • During long-term electrical power outages, the tower you relied on to receive your cell phone signal may lose power.
  • Cellular phone calls are subject to “signal bounce.” Signal bounce occurs when a local cellular tower's equipment becomes busy due to a large call volume, resulting in the overflow call being sent to the next available tower. The receiving tower may not be in your area of the state. Clinton County routinely receives cellular calls from Detroit and other locations around the state.
  • When traveling, be aware of your physical location when calling 9-1-1 on your cellular phone. Most cellular phones used today do not provide your location to the dispatch center. In many areas of the country, your cellular call-back number is not automatically given to the dispatch center. The Telecommunicator will need you to give the accurate location of the incident you are reporting, your name, and your call-back number. If you can do so safely, it helps if you can stop and ascertain if there are any injuries and if there are injuries, their severity.
  • Clinton County Central Dispatch is Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Phase II. We have the advanced technology in our dispatch center to receive cellular phones' newest location technology. FCC Phase II equipped cellular phones to transmit the longitude and latitude of a cell phone's location, call-back number, and the name of the owner of the phone to the dispatch center. The location is indicated on a map display for the Telecommunicator.
  • Cellular phone coverage and system reliability varies from carrier to carrier. Just like landline calls, our advanced equipment is no guarantee that Central Dispatch will get the cellular caller's location and call-back information.