911 and Cell Phones Not Always a Simple Connection

ELLSWORTH — When calling 911 in an emergency, most people expect the voice at the other end of the line to be nearby.

That’s not necessarily the case when the call is made from a cellular phone.

All 911 calls made on cell phones in Hancock County are first routed through the state police. In most cases, that means the call would go to the state police dispatch center in Orono, according to Renee Wellman, director of the Hancock County Regional Communications Center.

“People don’t necessarily get who they think they are going to get,” Wellman said.

She said it is vital for any 911 caller to quickly and clearly identify the location of their emergency, regardless of what type of phone they are calling from.

Wellman said newer “Phase Two” phones will provide emergency personnel with a caller’s general area. It helps if callers can specify their exact location. Callers should note landmarks and mile markers if they do not know their exact location.

People should stay on the line in case the dispatcher needs additional information.

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