To contact emergency services, the majority of individuals will use their telephone, as this has been the traditional method of contact for a very long time. But what if you don’t have access to a phone?
Fortunately, with the help of the Internet, you can contact these services without a phone or cell service. But how exactly can this be done? Here we will take a look.
Can you call emergency services online?
It would be easy to assume that law enforcement has some sort of website available for people to contact emergency services, but that is not the case. Unfortunately, there is not yet an official website that you can use to dial 911 (or your equivalent) online. But that doesn’t mean you can’t use the internet for emergencies at all.
If you need to call emergency services without a phone, VoIP services can come to the rescue. A VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) service is something you’ve probably used before. Skype, Zoom Phone and other similar services all use VoIP, with some offering emergency contact functionality.
There are two basic emergency features offered by VoIP services: contact option and location tracking. Usually, when you dial 911 using your phone, emergency services can track your location, and the technology they use to do this is also used by VoIP providers.
In the United States, it’s called E911, or Enhanced 911. It’s a technology that automatically reveals a caller’s geographic location so it’s easier to provide them with emergency assistance. Once the caller’s location is detected, the call is routed through the necessary PSAP, or public safety answering point. This is a call center that handles local emergency calls.
The use of Enhanced 911 is mandatory in most US states, and VoIP services are required to use this technology in the event of an emergency call. So if you end up calling emergency assistance using a VoIP service, the E911 will most likely be used to determine your location.
So how can you contact emergency services using a VoIP service?
How to call emergency services with a VoIP
It is important to note that emergency calls via a VoIP service will not work if you are not connected to the Internet or if your connection is very weak.
Before we get into Skype emergency calling, it’s worth noting that this feature is only available on Skype for Windows, Skype for Mac, and Skype for Linux. Also, you can only access this feature if you are calling from Australia, Denmark, Finland, UK and USA. You can also enable Skype emergency calling from these locations through the Skype mobile app.
Calling 911 on Skype is super simple and straightforward, and can be done by following a few steps, which are as follows:
First, you will need to select your profile picture and then go to your settings. After that select the Privacy option, in which you will have the option to enable 911 emergency location sharing.
Then, when you dial “911” through your Skype app, emergency services can determine your location for faster assistance.
To download: Skype for Windows | Mac | Linux (Free)
2. Zoom Phone
It’s important to note that you cannot dial 911 through the standard, free Zoom desktop or mobile app. But it can be done using Zoom Phone through the Nomadic E-911 service. Emergency operators use the address you previously entered in your Zoom account details under the Emergency address section.
Then, when you dial “911” via Zoom Phone’s dial pad, you’ll be able to get in touch with emergency services and make your location available to them so they can dispatch help as quickly as possible.
You no longer need cell service to dial 911
Gone are the days of needing a phone to call emergency assistance. Now all you need is an internet-connected device and some sort of VoIP software, which makes it more convenient and a lot less hassle when you need to contact emergency services, and it’s out of the question to use your phone.
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