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Trouble with 911 calls

Hank Keleher
Level 1
Level 1

I have an issue with an office in the 919 area code where 911 is accidentally called on a regular basis.  Once the caller realizes they dialed the wrong number they immediately hang up.  The local PSAP then calls our trunk ID which is the same as our main number but the front desk is unaware of an emergency or a call being placed to 911.  This happens enough that the local police department visits from time to time and they have threatened to start charging us for these visits (we definitely don't want to jam up emergency services or the police department if we can help it.)

Our outbound dialing prefix is 9 and we allow the users to dial 9,911 and 911 directly (so in an actual emergency they don't have to think about whether a 9 is needed or not.)  If for some reason someone accidentally hits a 1 too many times or misses/forgets to dial a 0 for an international call then 911 is called.  Changing the outbound prefix is not a viable option, though I know that would take care of it.  We've sent out notices to the facility to stay on the line and let emergency services know that it was a mis-dial and that no emergency exists.  This helps curtail it a bit but people being people it just gets worse again as folks go back to simply hanging up when they dial the wrong number.  We've also recommended onhook dialing but folks are so used to going offhook then dialing, old habits are hard to break!

It's been recommended to purchase CER but this may not be within our current budget (still looking into it.)  However, when we used to be on a Nortel PBX we had a feature that would not allow the internal caller to tear down the conversation so if the user accidentally called 911 and hung up their phone would immediately ring, since the call never disconnected, and when they picked up it was emergency services.  This worked great because they were forced to let emergency services know they accidentally called them.  Since we migrated to CUCM this has been an ongoing problem.

Is there anyway to set this up in CUCM?  We're currently on 8.0.2.


6 Replies 6

Steven DiStefano
VIP Alumni
VIP Alumni

Another option to consider is "CallAware" from Singlewire.  Sends notificaton to any Csco IP Phones you choose about which station dialed the 911 or any digits you want to keep track of being dialed:

A simpler tool if you are only looking for the notification to the front desk/reception is to put the 911 DN on their phone and set it for 1/2 seconds no answer and have call forward no answer css set to an outside CSS to send the call to the real 911 so it goes into their call logs on the front desk/reception phone.

These are good suggestions however, our front desk is only manned for 11 hours on business days and we're a 24x7 location.  I was hoping for the ability to prevent call teardown on our side which would force the users to let the 911 agent know there is no emergency without having to add another leg to the process (one that could be missed.)  Regardless, that's better than nothing.

Level 7
Level 7

Consider adding a 911[0-9] route pattern that you block. This way, if someone dial's 911 with no other digits, it will be routed via your normal 911 route pattern, albeit with a slight delay. If they dial 911 + any other digit, they'll get an immediate reorder/error tone.

As with all 911 call handling, best to make sure this doesn't break any legislation.


That's an interesting suggestion Lelio.  It's doable and wouldn't be too long a wait since our interdigit timeout is currently set to 3 seconds.  Something is holding me back though and I don't know what that is but I'm still considering it carefully.

I was a little weary at first, but in the end, it was painless and I breathed a sigh of relief. Best to get buy-in and approval from your Manager and Security group though. You may also want to advertise the delay. The Security Office got far fewer reports of 911 hangups after the change and were very happy. Just remember to mark the 911[0-9] pattern immediate so it doesn't wait for any more digits.

And of course, test test test!