August 1st, 2019
A quick, informative conversation with an operator during an emergency call is critical, but in some cases, people are unable to verbally communicate, whether they’re injured, in a dangerous situation or have a speech impairment.
Soon, you’ll be able to share information about the assistance you require, along with your location, to the emergency operator without speaking. This feature will be available in the Phone app on Pixel and select Android devices.
Tapping on the “Medical,” “Fire” or “Police” buttons during an emergency call will convey the type of emergency to the operator through an automated voice service. That service works on the device, which means the information stays between you and emergency services, and the service functions whether or not you have a data connection. After you activate the service, you can always speak directly to the operator as well.
Your location, which comes from your phone’s GPS, is often already shared with the operator when you make a 911 call. This new feature provides similar location information through the automated voice service, along with the caller’s plus code, which is another reliable way to help emergency services accurately locate them. Like the rest of the content shared with the operator using this feature, your location stays between them and emergency services.
This feature will become available in the U.S. over the coming months, starting with Pixel phones. We’ve been collecting feedback from public safety organizations, including the National Emergency Number Association, to make this feature as helpful as possible, and we look forward to continuing our collaboration with the emergency services community to make people safer.