MISSION, Texas – The lives of out of state visitors could be more in danger than others during an emergency. That was the case for a Winter Texan last week during a house fire. He says his 9-1-1 call to Mission was instead dispatched to his home state.
“Yes I made the 911 call and they tell me now because we’re from Wisconsin, the phone call has to go back to Wisconsin. It took an awful long time.”
Winter Texan, Jim Birschbach lives at Valle Del Sol RV Park in Mission where a house fire broke out Thursday night. When making the emergency phone call, Birschbach says his call was dispatched to his home state; delaying all emergency help.
“It was ringing and ringing on some number and finally the lady says there’s help on the way. I was afraid that when I saw the next trailer go on, I thought if the wind starts picking up it might just take the whole block.”
Turning your phone off and back on when arriving to another state is what Mission Police advises you to do to avoid any delays.
“The delay is going to be there if those situations arise. If you don’t reset your phone, it’s not going to get your location.”
Arturo Flores the Public Information Officer for Mission Police says when calling 911 dispatchers can obtain your location during the call via satellite. However if you don’t restart your phone when arriving to a new state the 911 call could go to the last state you were in.
“From Texas to California, it’s actually the satellite that will pick up your location. It depends on the satellite it might not pick up because of the internet.”
Flores advises out of state travelers to always let the 911 operator know their location first and highlight they are calling from a different state’s phone number.