911 center: GPS users don't always know locations

By: Associated Press Email
By: Associated Press Email
Emergency dispatchers in Summit County say that it takes longer to find someone when they are relying on a GPS-enabled phone.

Smartphone with GPS navigation

FRISCO, Colo. (AP) -- Summit County emergency dispatchers say it sometimes takes longer to get help to people who rely on GPS-equipped smartphones because they don't know exactly where they are.

The Summit Daily News reported Sunday (http://tinyurl.com/ajraarc) that some people who call 911 can't give their precise location even in towns or on major highways.

Officials say GPS-enabled phones can find a caller's location to within about 90 to 110 yards.

Lisa Hans, a supervisor with the county communications department, says that's good in the backcountry but not in a populated area.

Hans says it's particularly hard to pinpoint the location of someone who calls 911 from Interstate 70, which passes through Summit County. She says sometimes callers can say only that they're west of Denver or tell dispatchers where they're headed.

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