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How to Call the Emergency Services Using Skype – MUO – MakeUseOf


Most VOIP apps do not support emergency calling services. So if you’re in a pickle, you need to use your smartphone or a landline phone. But with the prevalence of internet connectivity, it just makes sense for apps to let their users call 911. After all, as long it can communicate with the outside world, why shouldn’t it be allowed to help people in distress?

So, to solve this issue, Skype released update 8.80, which now allows users in the US to call emergency services. Here’s how to set it up, so you can use it without a hitch when you need it.

Where Can You Use Skype Emergency Calling

911 not possible on skype if you're outside the US

In the past, if you dialed emergency services on the Skype mobile app, it would connect the call via your mobile network. But if you were using Skype on your computer, you wouldn’t be able to do it. The app will return a “No emergency calls.” error.

Skype’s latest 8.80 update lets you call emergency services through their system. However, they’re limited to the following countries: Australia, Denmark, Finland, the UK, and the US. So whether you’re using Skype on your mobile phone or your computer, you can reliably make emergency calls.

Emergency Location Sharing

Skype’s latest update, version 8.80, further improved emergency calling support in the US. If you call 911, Skype can now automatically send your location to the operator. However, you have to enable this in your profile beforehand. To do so, follow the steps below:

  1. Open Skype, then click/tap your profile photo.
  2. Choose Settings.
  3. Go to Privacy, then turn on 911 emergency location sharing.
  4. Acknowledge the Notices & Disclosures and the Special 911 Warning of Limitations & Unavailability windows.

Once you’ve finished the process above, Skype will share your location with emergency services when you’re on a call with them. However, if your device does not support location sharing or your device can’t find your location, the operator won’t receive your location details automatically. You should also ensure you’ve activated location sharing on your device.

Related: How to Get a Skype Phone Number

If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of automatically sharing your location with the authorities, you can turn off the feature anytime. However, if you make a 911 call, the operator won’t be able to find you automatically.

Skype Is Solving Emergency Location Issues

Time matters in most emergencies. Sometimes, only a few seconds separate a successful result from a complete tragedy. While the current 911 systems rely on phone book information to find a caller’s location, the rise of cellular phones means operators can’t locate the caller from the phone book. Instead, they must rely on cellular triangulation to get an approximate location.

But with Skype’s latest update, emergency operators can now use your phone’s location services to find you quickly and accurately. That means they don’t have to spend extra time figuring out your location. So even if you don’t know where you are, emergency services can find and save you.

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