The following statistics are for the period January 1, 2016 to December 31, 2016:
· Total 9-1-1 Calls Received – 203,142 (down 3,259 or 1.6% from 206,401 in 2015)
· Total Cellular 9-1-1 Calls Received – 135,427 (approximately 67% of total, up from 66% in 2015)
· Total Abandoned 9-1-1 Calls – 18,837 (approximately 9% of total, down from 10% in 2015)
· Average Time to Answer – 00:05 (seconds – down from 00:06 from 2015)
· Average Call Time – 02:07 (minutes; seconds – was 02:09 in 2015)
· Total Text-to-9-1-1 Received – 465 (down 85 or 18% from 550 in 2015)
Due primarily to the use of cell phones, the town-by-town statistics do not provide an accurate count of the 9-1-1 calls made in any given town. To get an exact town-by-town count of 9-1-1 calls would require listening to the recordings of tens of thousands of calls to determine their exact location. This is because of the technology used to locate wireless callers. A wireless call is seen by the 9-1-1 system as either a Phase 1 call or a Phase 2 call. In a Phase 1 call, only the location of the cellular tower that received the call is transmitted to the 9-1-1 call-taker. In a Phase 2 call, the cellular system attempts to determine the exact location of the caller, but the accuracy varies.
There are two technologies used to locate a cell phone:
• Global Positioning System (GPS) – requires a GPS circuit in the caller’s phone. A GPS-based system can provide a high degree of accuracy, though it generally requires a clear view of the sky and may fail to work from inside of a building.
• Triangulation – also known as the network method. The call must reach three or more cell towers in order to determine the location of the caller. This can be an issue in rural areas that do not have robust cell service. The relative lack of cell towers in Vermont contributes to the challenge.