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When Seconds Matter: Advanced 911 Helps You Act Quickly During an Emergency

A health or safety emergency must be met with swift action to protect the people and places you care about.

It starts with a call to 911 for help. Dispatchers know that seconds can mean the difference between life and death, and how fast you can get help may determine the eventual outcome:

  • Cardiac Arrest: For every minute that goes by without CPR and defibrillation, chances of survival decrease by 7-10 percent.
  • Stroke: For every minute without treatment, two million brain cells die.
  • Fire: It takes just five minutes for a house to be engulfed in flames.
  • Gas Leak: In one case, there were only 20 minutes between the first report and an explosion that killed eight people.

With effective planning and preparation, you’ll have the tools in place to get the help you need.

Ooma phone service remains at the forefront of emergency 911 access among VoIP providers. Here are five ways that Ooma can help you respond to an emergency.

respond to emergencies with Ooma

1. Dial 911 with Your Ooma-connected Phone

Unlike other internet-phone services that could leave you stranded in an emergency, Ooma has your back with advanced 911 service.

Both Ooma Telo home phone customers and Ooma Office business phone customers have 911 service built into their phone plan. Thus, you won’t have to think twice when you pick up the phone to dial 9-1-1.

In addition to 911 access, Ooma works behind the scenes to help support your needs during an emergency. For example, Ooma’s emergency geolocation feature will automatically transmit your self-provisioned physical address to emergency responders (where available) so that they can come right to your door in the event of an emergency. Users can access and update this physical location in their account settings.

“I’ve been a tech person for a very long time, but I was hesitant to give up my landline. I have heard horror stories about people having issues reaching needed services over cell. I did not want to lose my ability to reach the services. The day happened that I needed emergency services and Ooma was right there. It may have saved a life. Thank you for having a great E911 system and great service,” says James, an Ooma Telo customer.

See Dialing 911 for Emergency Services, which summarizes important differences between Ooma’s 911 service and traditional 911 service.”

2. Use Remote 911 via the Ooma App

Ooma also supports 911 emergency calls from its mobile calling apps. When you can’t get to your home phone or desk phone, use the Ooma Telo app to call 911.

call with the Ooma app to respond remotely

zinkevych – stock.adobe.com

Even when you’re not at home, you can use the apps to respond to an emergency remotely. Whether your babysitter just told you that your child is sick or your Ooma Home security system just alerted you to a problem, Ooma’s Remote 911 can save valuable time.

A call made with the app uses the same advanced technology as a call made with your Ooma-connected phone. Rather than relying upon the physical location of your mobile phone, the service will instead rely upon the self-provisioned emergency access address that you’ve listed on your Ooma account.

Remote 911 isn’t limited to customers with Ooma phone service. Ooma Smart Security customers using the Secure Plan also have access to advanced emergency technology.

3. Automatically Alert your Emergency Contact

With Ooma’s 911 Alerts, your phone system can instantly send an alert to you or an emergency contact that you’ve designated if 911 is dialed from an Ooma-connected phone.

With text message or email notifications in place, family members have the peace of mind from knowing that everything’s fine at home while also being able to respond quickly if there’s an emergency. You can also use it across households to be notified about an elderly relative, friend, or neighbor.

automatically alert your emergency contact

fizkes – stock.adobe.com

All Ooma Telo users have access to the 911 Alerts function. The notification message will automatically include the Ooma account holder’s name, phone number, and service address. You can also include a customized message that’s relevant to your needs. For example, you can add a reminder to stay calm, include the phone number of a primary care doctor, or list prescription drug information that you need to relay to EMTs.

4. Ask Alexa to Dial 911 Through Ooma

Do you want hands-free access to 911 emergency services? Your Amazon Echo can’t call 911 directly. However, you can make that hands-free emergency call when your Ooma system is integrated with your Echo.

Simply say, “Alexa, ask Ooma to call 911.”

By using your Amazon Echo to help you call 911, you could have critical hands-free access to help during situations such as a fall for stroke when the phone is out of reach. By integrating Ooma with Alexa, you’ll have the advantages of Ooma’s advanced emergency tools paired with voice-activated functionality.

In the video below, you can see for yourself how easy it is to make hands-free calls with Ooma and Alexa:

5. Ask Google Home to Use Ooma to Dial 911

When Ooma is integrated with your Google Home voice assistant, you can use Google Home to call 911. Like the Amazon Echo, your Google Home smart speaker isn’t able to call 911 directly. However, by pairing Ooma with your Google Home, you’ll be empowered with hands-free emergency access.

Simply say, “Hey Google, ask Ooma to call 911.”

All Ooma Telo users have access to this functionality at no extra cost. Plus, a 911 call made via a Google Home command will trigger Ooma’s advanced emergency tools. Thus, 911 Alerts will still notify an emergency contact, and your home address will be automatically shared with emergency response personnel.

See for yourself how easy it is to use Ooma with your Google Home:

Learn more about how Ooma is helping people stay connected to what matters the most. Look here for How VoIP Can Help the Hearing Impaired.

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Thad White

Thad is the Director of Product Management at Ooma, responsible for driving great user experiences across Ooma’s portfolio of hardware devices, mobile apps, and services. Thad has more than 20 years experience building and managing consumer tech products at leading tech companies including Yahoo!, BlackBerry, and 3jam (acquired by Skype). He has worked on messaging and communications products used by hundreds of millions of people worldwide. Thad holds a BA from Rice University in cognitive science and linguistics.

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