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What is "Dispatchable Location"?

In the wake of the newest FCC Report and Order, adopted on August 1st, many companies are going to be in need of investing in an E911 solution. The Report and Order provides rules detailing Kari’s Law and the Ray Baum Act. While the dust is still settling around what exactly this means for businesses nationwide, the requirement of “dispatchable location” has emerged as an important concept. 


When defining “dispatchable location” in terms of a 9-1-1 call, it can simply mean the location to which the call taker can send first responders. The “dispatchable location” is easy to retrieve when the caller is coherent, and can state the address at which they’re located. It is also unproblematic when the address provided to the dispatcher aligns with a non-complex establishment such as a single family home, or small shop. However, “dispatchable location” can become a huge impediment in successfully finding a person who has dialed 9-1-1 when they are located within a multi-leveled skyscraper, sprawling warehouse, or multi-building campus. 


These types of situations are exactly why we, at RedSky, build solutions that automatically provide the dispatcher with the exact location of a 9-1-1 call. The process of automatized “dispatchable location” allows first responders to efficiently arrive at the scene without the caller ever needing to speak. Automatically providing “dispatchable location” is invaluable when the caller cannot convey their location, whether due to the situation or the fact they might not know the exact address. Too often, first responders are delayed due to inaccurate or absent emergency location data, and we fully support the FCC’s decision to outline regulations around providing adequate and automatic “dispatchable location” to the PSAP, or the public safety answering point. 


Section 506 of Ray Baum’s Act defines “dispatchable location” as “the street address of the calling party, and additional information such as room number, floor number, or similar information necessary to adequately identify the location of the calling party.” This definition allows for a bit of flexibility in terms of determining what granularity of detail is appropriate in order for first responders to effectively locate a caller, furthermore these details are apt to change depending on the specific environment. However, what doesn’t seem flexible is the fact that if your business communicates via MLTS devices, and someone dials 9-1-1 from a device in your enterprise, you will be responsible for a “dispatchable location” being automatically sent to the PSAP.  


We will be distilling more information on the FCC’s Report and Order in the coming days, but it seems evident that the future is one of communications and E911 inexorably working in tandem. If your company is seeking an E911 solution, or has any questions regarding E911 for your specific environment in the wake of these regulations, please contact us