Wireless 9-1-1 is the term used to describe 9-1-1 calls which originate from analog or digital cellular telephones and personal communications systems devices. In a community like ours, these account for 20 – 25% of all calls. Duringtimes of peak vehicle traffic, such as the morning and evening commute, wireless calls can make up almost 1/2 of all calls received.

Did you know that:
  • More than 30,000 wireless phones are sold every day?
  • More than 115,000 wireless 9-1-1 calls are made very day?
  • Most people purchase a wireless telephone for safety?
  • Wireless telephones do not provide 9-1-1 with a phone number and address?
  • Wireless telephones may not connect you to the correct 9-1-1 center?
When calling 9-1-1 from a wireless telephone:
  • Providing an accurate address is critically important
  • Give an exact street number and street name if possible
  • If you don’t know the exact adress, provide an intersection
  • Provide a business name or landmark if your address is unknown
  • Stay on the line and follow directions carefully
  • Don’t hang up until your call is answered
  • Give your cell phone number


Know where you’re at!

When traveling the Interstate system in Tennessee, you will notice blue signs located in the median. These signs contain information concerning the interstate number, the direction of travel, and the milepost. These are valuable in relaying your location to 9-1-1personnel. Ramps leading to and from these interstates will also be posted with smaller signs that indicate the interstate number,direction of travel, and exit number.

Wireless Fees The state of Tennessee began collecting a fee of 85 cents per month from each wireless telephone to help pay for the development of and maintenance of enhanced wireless 9-1-1 service. Legislation passed in 1999 created a means of “cost recovery” for the companies that provide wireless. This was mandated by the Federal Communications Commission. A portion of these funds will also be distributed to local emergency communications districts such as ours in order to upgrade telephone equipment and mapping required to pinpoint the location of wireless calls. As improvements have been made, this fee has increased to $1.00 per month as provided by state law.


Phase I of the enhanced 9-1-1 project is underway in Knox County. The telephone numbers of most wireless customers are now generally relayed to the 9-1-1 center when a call for help is made. This is a significant step toward providing better service.

Consumers should also know that the use of decativated cell phones or cell phones manufactured solely for the purpose of making 9-1-1 calls cannot be called back by 9-1-1 center personnel to obtain additional, and possibly lifesaving, information. We believe you need to be aware of this fact before such a purchase is considered.