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How to test 911 dialing


I've installed my first CME and I want to make sure 911 emergency services will dial correctly. We're using analog line into an FXO and I just want to be sure that it works. What's the best way to do this?


7 Replies 7


when i call 911 for testing, i always do the following things.

1. Dial 911

2. Announce that it is not an emergency and that you are testing 911 services from a new phone system.

3. Have the 911 operator verify the phone number you are calling from to make sure they are seeing the correct CID info.

4. Have the 911 operator verify the address of the location you are dialing from.

If any of the info doesnt match, you should talk to your provider to find out why. 911 operators in my experience are not upset when these test calls are made and they shouldnt give you any problems as long as you dont waste their time by not calling prepared.


Rob Huffman
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Hi Dennis,

Just one other note to add to Mikes great tips (5 points for these Mike!)

You might also find out the direct number for the Admin/Shift Supervisor in the E911 Dispatch for your area and arrange these details with them ahead of time. I have started doing this if possible just as a courtesy whenever possible. Like Mike noted, I have also called many times "on the fly" without issue as well :)

Good Luck with this most important testing,


For what it's worth, calling the dispatch office first is the way we proceed as well, and the dispatchers have always been very eager to help and grateful that we're making sure it works properly.

That is a great idea, i never even though to do that...i will try to go that route in the future.


Thanks for the tips here. I'm going to add some additional pointers I learned today in my attempted test.

Since I'm trying to test in a major city, it may be best to seek out the dispatch administrator. When I dialed 911 (which it successfully connected), I told the dispatcher, as suggested, this was not an emergency. I was promptly forwarded to a non-emergency police number before having the chance to verify the location information.

However, I was able to get the dispatch supervisor's phone number. He instructed me to send an email to their 911 helpdesk to schedule testing. It is important to note that they do testing during limited time frames (obviously). In the city I'm working in this week, Houston, they allow testing between 10AM to 3PM, Monday-Thursday.

I've sent an email to their helpdesk and awaiting a scheduled time.

Interesting, i have never had the operator transfer me away like that, i have done testing in San Francisco, and New York City so you must have called at a bad time :(...thanks for the update.


Brian Cangero

Just calling 911 in NY is not ok. You must go through the appropriate channels to test. I have tried before and have gotten very distraught operators that insist you must go through the correct procedure.

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