Calling 911 from a Cell Phone: The New Technology Making a Difference

October 26, 2017


calling 911 from a cell phone


How a New Technology Makes Calling 911 from a Cell Phone Safer

Written by Devan Weed, Rave Mobile Safety

Published on October 24, 2017


Pinpointing 911 Caller Location 

On October 11, 2017, an influential group of individuals from throughout the state of Louisiana gathered at the Tangipahoa Parish 911 Center for a demonstration of the latest upgrade to the Rave 911 Suite system, known for its popular feature Smart911, and how it is revolutionizing the outcome of calling 911 from a cell phone. A valuable partnership between the provider of the Rave 911 Suite and real-time data connection service, RapidSOS, is transforming the speed at which public safety officials can respond to emergency calls and conserve vital resources through enhanced location data and communication functionality.

Director Darouse described the latest 911 technology with advanced location information as “revolutionary to emergency response.” The new software enables 911 dispatchers to narrow down the location of an emergency caller from the standard range of around 400 – 500 feet to less than 10 – 15 feet. The accuracy of the location data vastly reduces the time it takes to reach a person in need of assistance, especially when the 911 call is dialed from a mobile device.

911 Caller Data and Communication 

In July of 2014, Tangipahoa Parish, LA adopted the Rave 911 Suite for its personal data registry known as Smart911. Smart911 is a free service to Tangipahoa residents that allows them to create a Safety Profile detailing information about themselves, their family members, their home, as well as any potential medical concerns that may be critical for first responders to have in the event of an emergency.

After three years of using the service, Tangipahoa 911 Director Dennis Darouse says the enhanced 911 system is more advanced than ever before. The Rave 911 Suite now allows emergency dispatchers to initiate a conversation with 9-1-1 callers via SMS text message. This functionality is critical in situations where verbal communication for the caller is either impossible or dangerous, and also when calling 911 from a cell phone in areas with a weak service connection.

“There have been several cases where the ability to text back and forth with a 9-1-1 caller has lead to saving that person or another individual’s life,” said Director Darouse.

One such example is a case on June 20, 2017 where a Tangipahoa woman dialed 9-1-1 and pleaded for help just before hanging up the phone out of fear of being discovered by her attacker. After losing contact with caller with little to no information about the incident or its location, 911 Call Taker Teresa McDonald initiated an SMS Chat session through the Rave 911 Suite system. Through text, McDonald was able to learn more about the incident at hand – the woman was unable to speak as she was hiding in a cabinet while threatening intruders searched for her in her home. McDonald was able to acquire the terrified woman’s address and continued to communicate with her until police arrived at the scene.

Click here for more information  about how the Rave 911 Suite is saving lives and improving the outcome of calling 911 from a cell phone.


Those that attended the demonstration of the latest advancements to the Rave 911 Suite system on October 11, 2017 included:

Department of Veteran’s Affairs

  • Alfred Leger, Deputy Assistant Secretary
  • Alex Juan, Communications Director
  • Michael Hyatt, VA Health Administrator

Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health

  • Stephen Shaw, Crisis Counselor
  • Daniel Adams, Program Assistant, Crisis Response Division
  • Tom Jarlock, Program Manager

State Representatives & Staff (5)

  • Rep. Scott Simon, Chief of Staff
  • Sen. Erdey, Legislative Assistant, Legislative Aide

Parish Council & Administration (6)

  • Buddy Ridgel
  • James Bailey
  • Emile Mayeaux
  • David Vial
  • Joe Thomas, Chief Administrative Officer (1st under Parish President)
  • Dawson Primes, Director of Homeland Security

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