9-1-1

Calling 9-1-1?

Alert

To speak with a Commander 24 hours a day call:
Police: (507) 387-8780
Fire: (507) 387-8728

Calls to 911 in the City of Mankato are handled by the Blue Earth County Dispatch Center using Enhanced or E-9-1-1. Based on the type of phone service that is used to make the call, different information is provided to the call taker. There are definite differences between the three types of phone systems: traditional landline, cellular phone, and Voice over IP.

911 Calls made on a traditional landline
  • Provides the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center with the caller’s telephone number.
  • Provides the call taker with a text display that shows the address where the calling phone is installed, the name of the subscriber on that line, and which emergency response agencies should be dispatched to that address.
  • As long as phone service is available, this system has a very low rate of failure.
911 Calls made on a cellular phone
  • Provides the 9-1-1 Dispatch Center with the caller’s cellular phone number.
  • Provides the location of the cell tower through which the call was originated.
  • The FCC has mandated that cellular calls show the actual location latitude/longitude of the calling phone (within certain parameters).
  • While there has been some progress in meeting the above mandate, some calls are still routed to the wrong location and must be transferred to the appropriate Dispatch Center. If no tower data is transmitted, it is virtually impossible to locate a cellular caller if they are not at their home address. This is why it is vitally important that you remain on the line until the call taker tells you it is okay to end the call.
911 Calls made on a Voice Over IP system
  • Voice Over IP (VoIP) is the routing of voice conversations over the Internet or through any other IP-based network.
  • The nature of IP makes it difficult to geographically locate users. Emergency calls cannot easily be routed to Dispatch Centers.
  • Most IP service providers now require that you register your physical address with them and when in need of emergency services, your call will be routed by them to your local Dispatch Center. In the event that your call is non-routable, you have taken your computer some where else, or you are using a mobile phone and not at home, the service’s call center will receive the call and manually route it once learning your physical location. This could cause significant delays in the response of emergency services to your location.