FCC Proposal to Help Responders Locate 911 Callers in Multi-Story Buildings

The commission proposed a vertical location accuracy metric of plus or minus 3 meters relative to the handset for 80 percent of indoor wireless 911 calls, tentatively concluding that location accuracy metric—within 3 meters above or below the phone—would be sufficiently accurate to identify the caller's floor level in most cases and would be technically feasible under the timeframes established in the Enhanced 911 rules.

The Federal Communications Commission on March 15 adopted a proposal intended to help first responders more accurately locate people who make wireless 911 calls from multi-story buildings. The proposal would assist 911 call centers in identifying the floor level where the 911 call occurred, which can reduce emergency response times and save lives, according to the agency.

The proposal is part of the commission's ongoing effort to improve its Enhanced 911 location accuracy rules, which require wireless providers to automatically transmit to 911 call centers information on the location of wireless 911 callers. The rules require wireless providers to meet what FCC describes a an increasingly stringent series of location accuracy benchmarks in accordance with a timetable, including providing the caller's "dispatchable location" (such as the street address and apartment number) or vertical location on a phased-in basis beginning in April 2021.

The commission had deferred a decision on a specific vertical location accuracy metric until it received additional testing data, which FCC said has now occurred.

The commission proposed a vertical (or "z-axis") location accuracy metric of plus or minus 3 meters relative to the handset for 80 percent of indoor wireless 911 calls, with the commission tentatively concluding that location accuracy metric—within 3 meters above or below the phone—would be sufficiently accurate to identify the caller's floor level in most cases and would be technically feasible under the timeframes established in the Enhanced 911 rules.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai and Commissioners Michael O'Rielly and Brendan Carr approved the measure; Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel dissented; and Commissioner Geoffrey Starks approved in part and concurred in part.

Download Center

  • Safety Metrics Guide

    Is your company leveraging its safety data and analytics to maintain a safe workplace? With so much data available, where do you start? This downloadable guide will give you insight on helpful key performance indicators (KPIs) you should track for your safety program.

  • Job Hazard Analysis Guide

    This guide includes details on how to conduct a thorough Job Hazard Analysis, and it's based directly on an OSHA publication for conducting JHAs. Learn how to identify potential hazards associated with each task of a job and set controls to mitigate hazard risks.

  • A Guide to Practicing “New Safety”

    Learn from safety professionals from around the world as they share their perspectives on various “new views” of safety, including Safety Differently, Safety-II, No Safety, Human and Organizational Performance (HOP), Resilience Engineering, and more in this helpful guide.

  • Lone Worker Safety Guide

    As organizations digitalize and remote operations become more commonplace, the number of lone workers is on the rise. These employees are at increased risk for unaddressed workplace accidents or emergencies. This guide was created to help employers better understand common lone worker risks and solutions for lone worker risk mitigation and incident prevention.

  • EHS Software Buyer's Guide

    Learn the keys to staying organized, staying sharp, and staying one step ahead on all things safety. This buyer’s guide is designed for you to use in your search for the safety management solution that best suits your company’s needs.

  • Vector Solutions

Featured Whitepaper

OH&S Digital Edition

  • OHS Magazine Digital Edition - May 2022

    May 2022

    Featuring:

    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY
      How Wearable Technology is Transforming Safety and the Industrial Workplace
    • TRAINING: CONFINED SPACES
      Five Tips to Improve Safety in Confined Spaces
    • INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE
      Monitor for Asbestos to Help Save Lives
    • PPE: FALL PROTECTION
      Fall Protection Can Be Surprising
    View This Issue