Debunking 911 Myths with Next Generation 911

Posted in NGA911 on Jan 11, 2022

Most people know to dial 911 when emergency assistance is needed. While there is no denying the current 911 system has helped save countless lives since first introduced, it was primarily developed to work for landline phones. 

With over 80% of 911 calls coming from mobile devices today, the need for an updated emergency response system is essential.

At NGA, we've heard our fair share of common misconceptions concerning public safety infrastructures and 911 myths stemming from outdated emergency response systems. 

We're not sure when these assumptions started, but we're here to tell you with NG9-1-1, those fears can be put to rest.

In this blog, our Next Generation 911 providers and experts at NGA will discuss:

  • Top four 911 myths
  • Common 911 misconceptions
  • How NG911 provides solutions 

911 Myth #1: Calling 911 Comes With A Charge

Being charged for dialing 911 when you need emergency assistance is a myth. 911 infrastructures such as Next Generation 911 are supported by federal and statewide funding. The government funding means that calling 911 won't cost you anything.

Additionally, the NG911 system was designed for maximum efficiency for:

  • Responding to 911 calls
  • Pinpointing caller locations
  • Communicating with PSAPs and ECCs
  • Dispatching first responders
  • Deploying emergency resources and equipment

Better efficiency often means improved protocols, resulting in less time and resources wasted.

While you won't be charged for dialing 911, it's essential to know that you may have to pay for emergency medical services if they're needed. These emergency medical services may include riding in an ambulance on your way to a hospital. 

911 Myth #2: It's Not Possible to Text 911

Many emergency response systems are not compatible with text messaging. With Next Generation 911 however, you can communicate with telecommunicators and first responders with real-time texting (RTT).

NG911 is often referred to as "the next generation of 911," and for good reason. The Next Generation 911 system allows you to reach public safety personnel when you have limited voice coverage, if it's unsafe to talk, or if you are hearing impaired.

Having the ability to text 911 for help in an emergency can result in better communication and more lives saved.

The NG911 system is compatible with real-time text messaging as well as:

  • Voice Messaging
  • Voice-To-Text Messaging
  • Video Streaming
  • Photo Sharing
  • Smartphone Location Pinging

911 Myth #3: 911 Won’t Be Able to Call You Back

If you call 911 and get disconnected, the dispatcher can call you back. With traditional emergency response systems, the only exception would be calling from an inactive mobile phone. 

The advantage of the NG911 infrastructure is that it runs in the cloud. The cloud and IP-based networks used for Next Generation 911 securely store important information, such as the phone numbers of 911 callers. 


At NGA, we believe that improving 911 services includes addressing and debunking common 911 myths. The implementation of Next Generation 911 is still commencing across the nation and will take some time to complete.

Many states and communities still use traditional 911 systems. However, the good news is that government agencies and the public safety industry are actively working to improve the future of emergency response!

Would you like more information about the future of emergency response with Next Generation 911? 

Click here to connect with our experts at NGA!