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Bureau of Emergency Communications (9-1-1)
News and Events

For Immediate Release
Monday, April 26, 2010
Contact: Wanda Bowers
(603) 271-6911

New Hampshire's 9-1-1 "Supplemental ALI" Reaches Out To Cell Phone And VoIP Users

CONCORD, NH – New Hampshire's Enhanced 9-1-1 system has expanded its "Supplemental" Automatic Location Information (Supp ALI) database to include wireless (cell phone) and VoIP (Voice over Internet Protocol) subscribers, becoming one of the first 9-1-1 operations in the United States to offer this service.

The announcement was made by Chief Douglas Aiken, Chairman of the Enhanced 9-1-1 Commission and by Bruce Cheney, ENP, Director of Emergency Services and Communications. Director Cheney explained the State of New Hampshire is once more demonstrating its commitment to providing the very best emergency telephone communications to its citizens.

New Hampshire 9-1-1 has answered more than 1,000 emergency telephone calls each day - 7 days a week, 52 weeks a year – for almost 15 years. Most people are aware when you call NH 9-1-1 from your home phone, the enhanced computer screens used by our call-takers automatically displays the callers name, address and telephone number; along with which police department and fire department and emergency medical service will respond to your call for help.

The key to this technology is your seven-digit phone number. NH 9-1-1 calls your phone number - "ANI" for Automatic Number Identification. The location of your phone (your address) is called - "ALI" for Automatic Location Information. Supplemental ALI is a key enhancement of NH 9-1-1, which allows us to add specific information to your location. New Hampshire 9-1-1 keeps this database separate from the main 9-1-1 database. This special database is reserved for individuals with permanent medical or mental conditions (i.e. deaf, blind, handicapped, etc.) and hazardous materials (i.e. explosive chemicals, oxygen tanks, etc.) stored on site. It is triggered by the caller's phone number. Until now, Supplemental ALI was available only to landline or "wired" phone subscribers.

The new technology, developed by Timothy Scott, Systems Development Specialist and Erik Sobel, 9-1-1 IT Manager for the Bureau of Emergency Communications, allows the addition of supplemental location information to cell phone and VoIP users.

To add such information to the database, subscribers would fill out a simple form describing in a few brief words the permanent medical condition or hazardous material information associated with their cell phone or VOIP number.

Once the form has been processed and approved, the information is entered in to Supplemental ALI database. From that point forward if a 9-1-1 call is placed from that telephone number, this "Supplemental information" will automatically appear on our 9-1-1 computer screens (along with your phone number, street address and municipality). We then inform the local dispatch agency about the supplemental information unique to your situation. There have been numerous cases where this supplemental information has saved lives.

Back in July of 1995 when NH 9-1-1 was activated, New Hampshire numbered fewer than 50,000 cell phone subscribers and VoIP was in its experimental stages. Fifteen years later, wireless phones in the state out number wired phones almost two-to-one. Recent statistics show approximately 850,000 wireless phones are in use in New Hampshire, compared to only 450,000 wired or landline phones. Another 150,000 residents are using the internet for their telephone connection.

The expanded Supplemental ALI database to include Wireless and VoIP subscribers is the latest improvement to a Nationally Accredited 9-1-1 Center. Director Cheney said, "The mission of the Bureau of Emergency Communications is "to serve as the communications link between the public and public safety agencies'. Our vision is to exceed all standards of excellence by providing state-of-the-art 9-1-1 services. In doing so, the NHBEC envisions a day when every person in the State of New Hampshire knows and uses 9-1-1 with the utmost confidence that a high level of assistance will follow; furthering the ideal of "One Nation, One Number."

Forms can be obtained by calling the NHBEC business office at (603)271-6911 or (800)806-1242 or online at http://www.nh.gov/safety/divisions/emergservices/nh911/pubinfo/index.html.

Please contact Wanda Bowers, NHBEC Public Information Representative, for further information at (603)271-6911 or (800)806-1242 or by e-mail to wbowers@e911.nh.gov.

   
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