Sunday, May 04, 2008

First E911/VoIP Related Death In Calgary.

Globe and mail is reporting about a death of a toddler due to a mixup with E911 call, a 911 call placed over VoIP circuit that failed to send the help to the family in need. The great loss to the family may open up better E911 implementation than what is in operation today in Calgary or elswhere.
TORONTO, CALGARY — An ambulance was dispatched in response to a 911 call about a toddler in distress, but the Internet phone service said paramedics went to the address it had on file – a home in Mississauga – not the new home in Calgary where the distraught family waited in vain for help.

The child died before an ambulance sent to the right place could get him to hospital Tuesday night.

The family of 18-month-old Elijah Luck spoke out Thursday about their ordeal accessing 911 emergency services with their telephone company Comwave, which uses voice-over-Internet-protocol technology.

Their nightmare highlights the sometimes serious problems that can occur with VoIP providers' emergency services.

Traditional phone providers' enhanced 911 service sends location information on customers directly to emergency services.

The family's ordeal shows that more work is needed to educate consumers about how VoIP emergency services work, said Mark Goldberg of telecom consulting firm Mark H. Goldberg and Associates Inc.

At the end of last year, nearly 15 per cent of Canadian households used cable or VoIP phone services, according to Statistics Canada. It's not the first time that a VoIP customer has called 911 and failed to get help.


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