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We always hope our employees won’t have to call 911, but if they do, is your phone system prepared to help? The numbers 9-1-1 are vital to emergency calling in the United States, and Enhanced 911 improves the process further. Enhanced 911, or E911, takes information about the caller on the other end, and sends it to the emergency dispatchers.

VoIP business phone systems add many features and capabilities to an organization’s communications. Enhanced 911 helps your business and your employees get the emergency services that they need. Whether they are in the office, at home, or on the go, E911 will help.

E911: Explained

E911 is a very important part of the emergency calling system. It displays the phone number and the location information of the caller for the emergency dispatcher to see. Sometimes the caller cannot say their location, or has to hang up the phone before sharing it. In this situation, the dispatcher can still easily see the location, and send help.

Using a VoIP business phone system has a large amount of benefits, ranging from necessary to nice to have. We know that E911 is a necessary feature, which is why we include it in your plan. Some companies charge extra for this feature, or only add it to their higher tiered plans. One of the biggest benefits to VoIP is the flexibility you get from making business calls from anywhere. This can pose as a downside though, if you are in an emergency situation and harder to locate. Luckily, with E911 you can assign location information to your number, right down to suite number. You can do all of this within our customer portal.

Why Your Organization Should Utilize E911

If your organization uses a VoIP business phone system, you need to make sure you are implementing an E911 service. It offers functionality that allows you to put a specific and precise physical address onto your VoIP phone number. This is safe and efficient, and avoids a distressed caller trying to verbalize their location when calling 911. This software works for VoIP system used via a mobile phone as well. If you call 911 from your mobile phone, E911 can use GPS tracking and cell towers to triangulate your location.

This ability to narrow down your location to suite or floor is particularly important to organizations that are in large office buildings or corporate campuses. The larger the building, the harder it is for emergency responders to find one person. Responders can avoid this confusion if their E911 location tells them exactly where to go.

These days, it’s more and more popular for organizations and businesses to share large office buildings. In many instances, multiple businesses share the same floor. If someone in one of these office settings were to call 911, it could be a challenge to find them. Sometimes a building address just isn’t enough. E911 software allows you to register a specific address, down to the office suite, with your phone number. That can make the difference between life and death in an emergency situation.

Remote Working & E911

Using your E911 feature adds protection for your employees, and can make everyone feel more safe. As reported by Flowroute, the number of people telecommuting in the US has increased 159% since 2005. This number was already continuing to trend up, and the COVID-19 pandemic only added that, when it changed what the modern workplace looked like.

During working hours, the company/business/organization is responsible for the safety of their employees. As a company gets larger, it also gets harder to keep track of employees, office, locations, etc. Being able to easily associate a location with a number makes it simple to keep track of locations to be used for emergency purposes. If your remote employees have numbers on your organization’s business phone, you can easily cover them with E911.

In some states, such as Michigan, under law, the provision of an Emergency Response Location (ERL) for every telephone capable of dialing 911 on a multi-line telephone system is required. If you are using a VoIP phone system, you need E911 services to be compliant. Look at the guidelines here: Michigan.gov.