Wireless enhanced 911 system 05-01-07

PHONE: 961-8807
MAY 1, 2007


Hawaii County implemented its new Wireless Enhanced 911 (WE911) System on Friday, April 26, 2007. This project began in November 2006, to assist both the police and fire departments to establish the location of persons in need of emergency assistance through their cellular phone.

WE911, as it is commonly known, provides Fire and Police dispatchers with a general location of a cell phone user making a WE911 call.

In order to be accessible to the WE911 system, the cell phone must have the capability of providing global positioning system (GPS) information or a vendor-provided network-based system (triangulation method – receiving signals from three wireless towers) to facilitate locating the calling party.

Although this system is a new emergency tool for first responders, we still encourage the public to provide the police and fire dispatchers with as much information as possible to help pinpoint the callers’ location.

The new system is fully-funded by the State WE911 Board, an entity created by state statute in 2004 under the Department of Accounting and General Services.

Customers of all cell phone companies operating on the Big Island, as well as cellular phone customers within the state, pay a monthly surcharge of 66 cents per phone to the State WE911 Board, to fund this statewide WE911 system.

Police and Fire dispatchers underwent training to operate this system.

For further information, go to http://hawaiiwireless911.hawaii.gov:9119/.

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