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10,000 Lives

Adam Havey

Back in 2014 the FCC studied the efficacy of 911 location services and found that most 911 dispatch centers don’t receive GPS information from a cell phone caller so, “in the absence of accurate location data associated with a wireless call, the caller must be questioned in detail to provide verbal information regarding their location. This process can be time consuming and callers are sometimes unable to speak or provide correct information.”

911 technology was developed and deployed when most people only had land lines. When you call 911 from a land line, they look up your billing address – so they know your location. With a cell phone, they can still look up your billing address – but chances are – you aren’t at home.

According to a Center for Public Integrity article, “For years, the FCC has required wireless carriers to provide GPS location technology in their handsets, with accuracies up to 300 meters of a 911 caller. But dispatchers don’t always get a location when a call comes in…. Most recent cellphones are equipped with global positioning system hardware, which can locate callers via satellites. But while GPS works well when locating a caller standing in an open field, when the call comes from inside homes, apartments, stores, hotels, college dorms, or in downtowns where tall buildings block signals, it performs poorly. With an estimated 58 percent of all wireless calls coming from indoors, the FCC realized a large portion of emergency calls were likely not to deliver a location at all.”

One Minute would Save 10,000 Lives a Year

The FCC went on to note “A study examining 73,706 emergency incidents during 2001 in the Salt Lake City area found that on average, a one-minute decrease in ambulance response times reduced the likelihood of 90-day mortality from 6 percent to 5 percent, i.e., a 17 percent reduction in the total number of deaths. This implies that, in the Salt Lake City area, a one-minute reduction in response times would have resulted in an annual saving of 746 lives. If we assume that this outcome is reasonably reflective of the country as a whole, we estimate that the location accuracy improvements we propose could save approximately 10,120 lives annually, for an annual benefit of approximately $92 billion.”

Sadly, the FCC never changed 911 regulations to require the location services changes proposed by the study.

Guard Llama Bridges the Location Gap

Guard Llama bridges the gap by immediately providing your exact location to emergency dispatchers through our smartphone app or Wall Hub solution. Just press your Panic Button to send your exact location, along with your picture and description to emergency services. You don’t need to tell dispatch your location – they’ll already know it — getting emergency services to you faster than a regular 911 call.

Save a minute – save a life.



Adam Havey Co-Founder
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