Instant call location speeds 999 response

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The Independent Online
A 999 phone system that could save lives by automatically identifying the address of the caller becomes nationally available this week.

In pilot trials the new system has shaved 30 seconds off emergency response times by flashing up the address from which the call is being made on control room screens.

Operators are then able to deploy an ambulance, police car or fire engine immediately, without having to wait to question the caller, who could be traumatised or not know the precise location.

The BT system, called Caller Line Identity, has been piloted by the West Midlands Ambulance Service but will be offered to all emergency service operators at a Home Office-backed launch in London this week.

Until CLI was developed, control rooms could only access the location of public phones. The new system, developed at a cost of pounds 1m, gives operators access to the caller's precise address and also the name of the telephone subscriber.