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Emergency Calling

Updated September 30, 2016

  1. What is TRS?
  2. Emergency Calls
  3. CapTel®
    1. Hamilton CapTel Phone (Models 800i, 840i, 880i and 2400i)
    2. Hamilton CapTel Phone (Models 200, 800 and 840)
    3. Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone and Tablet
      1. Technical Specifications
      2. Notice of Downloads/Upgrades Requirements
    4. Hamilton CapTel for Business, Interconnected by Tenacity

What is TRS?

“Telecommunications relay services” or TRS means telephone transmission services that provide the ability for an individual who is deaf, hard of hearing, deaf-blind, or who has a speech disability to engage in communication with one or more individuals, in a manner that is functionally equivalent to the ability of a hearing individual who does not have a speech disability to communicate using voice communication services.

911 Disclaimer

911 CALLS — HAMILTON WILL TRANSMIT 911 CALLS FOR INTERNET-BASED RELAY SERVICES IN ACCORDANCE WITH FEDERAL LAW AND POLICIES. 911 CALLS WILL BE HANDLED DIFFERENTLY DEPENDING ON THE TYPE OF SERVICE BEING USED. IN ORDER TO TRANSMIT IMPORTANT INFORMATION TO EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDERS, HAMILTON MAY REQUEST YOUR NAME, TELEPHONE NUMBER AND LOCATION AT THE BEGINNING OF THE CALL OR, IF WE HAVE YOUR REGISTERED LOCATION INFORMATION, HAMILTON MAY TRANSMIT SUCH INFORMATION TO EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDERS. FOR TRADITIONAL RELAY SERVICES, YOUR EMERGENCY CALL WILL BE ROUTED TO AN APPROPRIATE PUBLIC SERVICE ANSWERING POINT (PSAP) BASED ON YOUR AREA CODE AND PREFIX.

Emergency Calls

Limitations of Emergency Calls for Web and Mobile CapTel Services

Web and mobile CapTel services, which include without limitation, Hamilton CapTel Service (“Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac” or “Hamilton CapTel for Smartphones” or “Hamilton CapTel for Tablets”) handle 911 calling differently than traditional telephone services. Using traditional telephone services is the fastest way to call 911, as your telephone, TTY or CapTel phone provide a direct link to your emergency service provider. In contrast, web and mobile CapTel services do not provide a direct link, so it is important that you provide your location information to the 911 center at the beginning of the call in order to transmit your physical location to an emergency center.

WEB AND MOBILE CAPTEL EMERGENCY CALLS ARE NOT THE SAME AS TRADITIONAL TELEPHONE OR TTY EMERGENCY CALLS. IN AN EMERGENCY, HAMILTON RECOMMENDS THAT YOU USE A TELEPHONE, TTY OR CAPTEL PHONE IF POSSIBLE TO MAKE AN EMERGENCY CALL IN ORDER TO CONNECT YOU DIRECTLY WITH EMERGENCY OFFICIALS. WITH A WEB OR MOBILE CAPTEL EMERGENCY CALL, HAMILTON MAY NOT AUTOMATICALLY BE ABLE TO OBTAIN YOUR LOCATION INFORMATION OR ROUTE YOUR CALL TO APPROPRIATE EMERGENCY PERSONNEL.

IF THE PHONE, COMPUTER OR MODEM USED TO ACCESS THE INTERNET DOES NOT HAVE A BACKUP POWER SOURCE, THE SERVICE WILL NOT WORK DURING A COMMERCIAL POWER OUTAGE. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU MAINTAIN A LANDLINE FOR EMERGENCY CALLS. YOUR PHONE CARRIER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING 911 EMERGENCY SERVICE. WE CANNOT ASSURE YOU THAT, IF YOU PLACE A 911 CALL USING THE SERVICE, A CONNECTION WILL BE ESTABLISHED; OR THAT ANY CONNECTION ESTABLISHED WILL BE WITH THE PROPER EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDER; OR THAT YOUR CORRECT ADDRESS WILL BE ELECTRONICALLY AVAILABLE TO THE EMERGENCY SERVICE PROVIDER; OR THAT CAPTIONING SERVICES WILL NOT SLOW THE RESPONSE TIME OR THE RELAY OF EMERGENCY INFORMATION.

Hamilton is required to transmit 911 emergency calls for web and mobile CapTel services in accordance with federal law and policies. As part of this requirement, and in order to transmit important information to emergency service providers, your name, number, and location may be requested at the beginning of an emergency call. Hamilton is not able to identify the location of mobile devices that may be used. If registered location information is from another location other than where the User is calling from, and the User does not provide the location of where they are calling from , the call may not be connected to the appropriate Emergency Service Provider or Public Service Answering Point.

All information obtained as a result of the above-described process is limited to that needed to facilitate 911 services and is made available only to emergency call handlers and emergency response or law enforcement personnel. All information is used for the sole purpose of ascertaining your location in an emergency situation or for other emergency or law enforcement purposes.

Limitations of Emergency Calls for IP Based CapTel Phones

If you choose to use your Hamilton CapTel phone to place a 911 call, you may or may not receive captions as your Internet connection must be working to receive captions, and you must have elected to turn captions on. When you dial 911 using Hamilton CapTel Phone, you will be connected directly to an appropriate Public Service Answering Point (PSAP), however, the captions on the call will be connected to the Hamilton CapTel Call Center through the Internet connection, as long as you have elected to turn captions on. If at any time during a 911 CapTel phone call you elect to turn captions off, you will not receive captions until you turn the captions feature back on.

IF THE PHONE, COMPUTER OR MODEM USED TO ACCESS THE INTERNET DOES NOT HAVE A BACKUP POWER SOURCE, THE SERVICE WILL NOT WORK DURING A COMMERCIAL POWER OUTAGE. IT IS RECOMMENDED THAT YOU MAINTAIN A LANDLINE FOR EMERGENCY CALLS. YOUR PHONE CARRIER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR PROVIDING 911 EMERGENCY SERVICE. WE CANNOT ASSURE YOU THAT, IF YOU PLACE A 911 CALL USING THE SERVICE, A CONNECTION WILL BE ESTABLISHED.

Limitations of Emergency Calls for IP Based Business Phone Systems using Captioning Services

The Hamilton CapTel for Business, Interconnected by Tenacity solution is currently available on Cisco business phone systems. If your business utilizes a Cisco business phone system, and you choose to use your Cisco phone to place a 911 call, you may or may not receive captions as you must be logged in and have elected to turn captions on. When you dial 911 using your Cisco phone, you may be connected directly to an appropriate Public Service Answering Point (PSAP), as configured on the Cisco Unified Communications Manager (CUCM) by your Telecom Administrator. However, the captions on the call will be connected to the Hamilton CapTel Call Center, as long as you are logged in and have elected to turn captions on. If at any time during a 911 CapTel phone call you elect to turn captions off, you will not receive captions until you turn the captions feature back on.

Disclaimer of 911 Liability

As a provider of relay services and as a provider of emergency communications for purposes of the Federal NET 911 Act, Hamilton asserts immunity and other protection from liability under both state and federal law in connection with its provision of 911 dialing service. In addition, Hamilton disclaims all responsibility for the conduct of local emergency response centers and the national emergency calling center. Hamilton does not have any control over any local emergency response center or the national emergency calling center. Therefore, Hamilton is not responsible for whether those centers answer calls made using Hamilton’s 911 dialing service, how they answer such calls, or how they handle them. Hamilton relies on third parties to assist in routing 911 dialing calls to local emergency response centers and/or, to the extent permissible under federal law, to a national emergency calling center. Hamilton cannot ensure that your local emergency service provider is capable of handling all 911 calls. Accordingly, Hamilton is neither liable nor responsible if the data used by a third party to route such calls is incorrect or produces an erroneous result. Neither Hamilton nor its officers, directors, shareholders, employees, agents or subcontractors may be held liable for any claim, damage, loss, fine, penalty, cost, and/or expense (including, without limitation, any and all attorneys’ fees) by, or on behalf of, any Hamilton customer or any third party or user of Hamilton’s Service, relating to or arising out of Hamilton’s Service, including, without limitation, 911 dialing, or any device used in connection with Hamilton’s Service.

CapTel

Hamilton CapTel Phone (Models 800i, 840i, 880i and 2400i)

If you choose to use your Hamilton CapTel phone to place a 911 call, you may or may not receive captions as your Internet connection must be working to receive captions, and you must have elected to turn captions on. When you dial 911 using Hamilton CapTel Phone, you will be connected directly to an appropriate Public Service Answering Point (PSAP), however, the captions on the call will be connected to the Hamilton CapTel Call Center through the Internet connection, as long as you have elected to turn captions on. If at any time during a 911 CapTel phone call you elect to turn captions off, you will not receive captions until you turn the captions feature back on.

Hamilton CapTel Phone (Models 800i, 840i, 880i and 2400i) 911 FAQs

  1. If I call 911 using the CapTel phone, will I still receive captions?

    Yes. Please be sure that captions are activated and your Internet connection is active.

  2. Will 911 emergency call centers be able to identify my location if I dial 911?

    Yes. The 911 centers have the ability to identify your location based on your specific incoming phone number.

Hamilton CapTel Phone (Models 200, 800 and 840)

1-line mode:

If you choose to use your Hamilton CapTel phone in 1-line mode to place a 911 call, services are not routed through the Hamilton CapTel Captioning Center. Calls are processed as voice carry over calls (“VCO”) whereby the 911 call-taker can hear everything you say, and then types his/her response which appears on the CapTel display screen. You speak directly into the handset, as you would with any other CapTel call. The captions will not be displayed automatically when the call is connected to the PSAP. In order to receive text from the 911 call taker, follow the instructions on the display screen.

2-line mode:

If you choose to use your Hamilton CapTel phone in 2-line mode to place a 911 call, you may or may not receive captions as your second phone line connection must be working to receive captions. When you dial 911 using Hamilton CapTel Phone, you will be connected to an appropriate Public Service Answering Point (PSAP).

Hamilton CapTel Phone (Models 200, 800 and 840) 911 FAQs

  1. If I call 911 using the CapTel phone, will I still receive captions?

    1-line mode: You will connect with the Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) directly. Follow the instructions on the display screen in order to activate captions. Once VCO mode is established, the call taker will type their response to you. You must wait for them to type “GA” prior to responding. When you are done talking, simply say “Go Ahead”, this will prompt the 911 call-taker to respond to you by typing to you. You will not hear their voice.

    2-line mode: Please be sure that captions are activated and your second phone line connection is active.

  2. Will 911 emergency call centers be able to identify my location if I dial 911?

    Yes. The 911 centers have the ability to identify your location based on your specific incoming phone number.

Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone and Tablet

We strongly recommend that you use your telephone or mobile phone to call 911 directly in an emergency. If you choose to use Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet to place a 911 call, there are limitations and possible delays. Upon dialing 911 via Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet, you will be routed to a Public Service Answering Point (PSAP). Upon connection, the PSAP will ask for location information. The PSAP dispatch will NOT be able to see your location information. The PSAP may ask for your call-back number to re-connect with you should your connection be lost.

Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone and Tablet 911 FAQs:

  1. Can I call 911 with Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet?

    Internet-based telecommunications services are limited services and are not ideal for making emergency 911 calls due to limitations and possible delays. Therefore, it is highly recommended that in an emergency you use your standard telephone service, CapTel phone or mobile telephone service to call 911 or your local emergency service number directly.

    If you choose to use Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet to place an emergency 911 call, you will need to provide important information immediately, including your location (street address, town, and state) as well as the nature of the emergency.

    The Hamilton CapTel call center is not an emergency call center and does not assume responsibility for the call.

  2. Why can’t Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet handle 911 calls like the standard telephone?

    Internet-based communications do not allow for the immediate delivery of location information. The Internet does not function in the same way that standard telephone service functions.

    With the standard telephone network, 911 centers have the ability to identify the location of a specific incoming phone number, whereas the Internet cannot identify specific locations.

  3. What happens if I enter 911 in the “Number To Dial” box and click “Place Call”? Will the call go through?

    Again, you are strongly encouraged to use your telephone or mobile device and dial 911 directly.

    Should you choose to use Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet to place an emergency call to 911, your call will be processed. Entering “911” in the “Number to Dial” box will generate special call processing. Your emergency call will be put ahead of other callers using Hamilton CapTel. It will become apparent on your screen that you are placing a 911 call. You will then be required to provide important information including your specific location as well as the nature of your emergency.

    Please be advised that calling 911 through Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet may take longer to connect to emergency personnel than will a call to 911 placed from a standard telephone line or mobile device.

  4. Will it be better if I use the 10-digit emergency number instead of 911 using Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet so that the call can go through quickly?

    Whether you are using the 10-digit emergency number or 911 number, it is still strongly recommended that you use your standard telephone line or mobile device and call 911 directly.

  5. Will my location be automatically identified if I dial 911 through Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet?

    No. The Internet does not allow Hamilton to recognize your location. It is encouraged that you use your standard telephone or mobile device and dial 911 direct. When dialing 911 direct over your standard telephone line, CapTel phone or mobile device your location information in most instances is automatically sent to the 911 center. Upon dialing 911 via Hamilton CapTel for PC/Mac, Smartphone or Tablet, your emergency call will be put ahead of other callers using Hamilton CapTel. You will be connected with a third party operator, whom will request for the location of the emergency. Providing the location immediately will allow the operator to find the appropriate Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) nearest to the location provided. Then you will be routed to a PSAP. Upon connection, the PSAP will inquire for location information. The PSAP will NOT be able to view your location information nor your call-back number. You must provide this information.

Recommended Technical Specifications

Disclaimer: Generally, Hamilton CapTel will work on the most recent version of the following operating systems, Internet browsers and devices. There may be older versions that are no longer supported and, in some instances, current versions that are not yet supported. Please review the following technical recommendations and contact Hamilton CapTel Customer Care if you have any questions about the compatibility of your system with Hamilton CapTel.

PC/Mac:
Smartphones & Tablets:

Notice of Downloads/Upgrades Requirements

In order to dial 911 via the Hamilton CapTel App for Smartphones and Tablets, users must have the most current version of the Hamilton CapTel app. Older versions are not supported.

Current Version of iOS Hamilton CapTel App: Version 1.8, as of June 19, 2014

Current Version of Android Hamilton CapTel App: Version 1.7.1, as of October 9, 2014

Check here periodically for updates about required downloads and upgrades. Always upgrade when prompted to do so on your PC/Mac, smartphone or tablet device.

Hamilton CapTel for Business, Interconnected by Tenacity

Please refer to your Telecom Administrator about how to dial 911 on your Cisco phone system. There may be specific steps you must take in order to process an emergency call with the Cisco phone, which we cannot answer due to customized settings in various environments.

When you connect with emergency services, such as 911, the captions on the call will be connected to the Hamilton CapTel Call Center, as long as you are logged in and have elected to turn captions on. If at any time during a 911 CapTel phone call you elect to turn captions off, you will not receive captions until you turn the captions feature back on.