In an emergency, seconds count. It’s important to know where you are so 911 can direct responders to your exact location to deliver life-saving aid. Now, South Sound 911 can receive more accurate cellular location data for 911 calls the agency receives, using RapidSOS.

In Pierce County, where more than 81 percent of 911 calls come from cell phones, the “know your location” message has become increasingly important over the years. The existing 911 system was designed for landlines associated to a fixed location, so obtaining accurate location information from mobile callers needing emergency aid has been challenging for 911 call takers and dispatchers nationwide.

While RapidSOS does not eliminate the need for callers to know their location, it will help responders get better location information.

In order for South Sound 911 to use the service for a 911 call, ensure your cellular phone operating systems are up-to-date and your device is able to send data. Only 911 centers with access to the RapidSOS Clearinghouse will receive device location information during a 911 call made from iPhones (iOs 12+) and Android (version 4.0+) devices.

RapidSOS location data supplements, but does not replace, existing 911 and carrier-provided location information and may not be available for every call. A variety of technical factors may impact the availability and accuracy of device-based location, such as the need to allow simultaneous voice and data delivery.