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Long Beach to answer wireless 911 calls

March 13, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
The city of Long Beach has made a move to quicken emergency response to wireless 911 calls.Officials say all 911 calls made on cell phones and other wireless devices will now be answered directly by Long Beach emergency dispatchers.

Until now, wireless calls were answered by California Highway Patrol dispatchers, who had to screen the calls before transferring them to the city's emergency response center. Authorities say this created unnecessary delays.

In recent years, cell phone calls to 911 have dramatically increased, while landline calls have declined.

Long Beach Mayor Bob Foster called the new wireless system a major improvement and said it will help solidify his city's standing as one of the safest major metropolitan areas in California.

Long Beach authorities say it took four months of rigorous testing to get the 911 program online.


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