Confusion Occurs When You Dial 9-1-1 Near State Borders


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It’s difficult enough for an emergency responder to tell your location if you use a cell phone, since it pings to the nearest tower; however, if you are near a state border you may be in even more danger. According to Your 4 State, “ First responders are offering some life saving information after recent incidents near the state line between Maryland and Pennsylvania, where cell towers can send calls to the wrong state. Around 9:30 Sunday morning, responders from Smithsburg EMS got called to an accident on Leitersburg Pike in Washington County. As they were rushing to the scene, it was realized that the fatal crash that took the life of a 69 year old man, happened over the state line in Pennsylvania.” If you are calling 9-1-1 from a cell phone, do your best to tell the responder your exact location—including the state. While cell phones have brought us many daily conveniences, they have also hindered our emergency personnel from reaching accident sites in a timely manner. “The 911 call goes to the closest tower, so the person is in Pennsylvania, but they are close to the Maryland state line and the closest cell phone tower to them is in Maryland they will be connected to the Washington County 911 centers,” said James Ulrich of Smithsburg EMS. (Source: Your 4 State) In order to save time, and lives, pay attention to your surroundings and give specific details to the operator, don’t rely on the accuracy of cell towers in times of emergency.

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