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How to Call Emergency Services Without a Phone – MUO – MakeUseOf


When getting in touch with emergency services, the majority of individuals will use their phones, as this has been the traditional contact method for a very long time. But what if you don’t have access to a phone?

Luckily, with the help of the internet, you can contact these services without a phone or cell service. But how exactly can this be done? Here, we’ll take a look.

Can You Call the Emergency Services Online?

It would be easy to assume that law enforcement has some kind of website available for individuals who wish to contact emergency services, but this isn’t actually the case. Unfortunately, there is not yet any official website that you can use to dial 911 (or your equivalent) online. But this doesn’t mean you can’t use the internet at all for emergency situations.

line of parked ambulances

If you need to call the emergency services without a phone, VoIP services can come to the rescue. A VoIP (or Voice over Internet Protocol) service is something that you’ve probably used before. Skype, Zoom Phone, and other similar services all use VoIP, with some offering emergency contact features.

There are two basic emergency features offered by VoIP services: the contact option and the location tracker. Usually, when you dial 911 using your phone, the emergency services can track your location, and the technology they use to do this is also used by VoIP providers.

In the US, this is called E911, or Enhanced 911. This is a technology that automatically reveals a caller’s geographical location so that it is easier to provide them with emergency assistance. After the caller’s location is detected, the call is routed through the necessary PSAP, or Public Safety Answering Point. This is a call center that handles local emergency calls.

The use of Enhanced 911 is mandatory in most US states, and VoIP services are required to use this technology in the event that an emergency call is made. So, if you end up calling for emergency assistance using a VoIP service, then E911 will most likely be used to determine your location.

So, how can you contact emergency services using a VoIP service?

How to Call the Emergency Services With a VoIP

It is important to note that emergency calls over a VoIP service will not work if you are not connected to the internet, or your connection is very weak.

1. Skype

Before we get into Skype emergency calls, it’s worth noting that this feature is only available on Skype for Windows, Skype for Mac, and Skype for Linux. On top of this, you can only access this feature if you’re calling from Australia, Denmark, Finland, the UK, and the US. You can also enable Skype emergency calls from these locations via the Skype mobile app.

Calling 911 on Skype is super simple and straightforward, and can be done by following just a few steps, which are as follows:

Firstly, you’ll need to select your profile picture and then go into your settings. After this, select the Privacy option, in which you’ll be given the option to activate 911 Emergency Location Sharing.

Skype Emergency Call Screenshot

Then, when you dial “911” via your Skype app, emergency services will be able to determine your geographical location for faster assistance.

Download: Skype for Windows | Mac | Linux (Free)

2. Zoom Phone

It’s important to note that you cannot dial 911 through the standard, free Zoom desktop or mobile app. But this can be done using Zoom Phone via the Nomadic E-911 service. Emergency operators use the address you have entered previously into your Zoom account details under the Emergency Address section.

Then, when you dial “911” via the Zoom Phone dial pad, you’ll be able to get in touch with emergency services and have your location available to them so that they can send help as quickly as possible.

You No Longer Need Cell Service to Dial 911

Gone are the days when you need a phone to call for emergency assistance. Now, you just need an internet-connected device and some kind of VoIP software, making it more convenient and much less of a hassle when you need to contact emergency services, and using your phone is out of the question.

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