Tips for a successful 911 test call


Molly Katolas


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Note: Test calls from an unprovisioned phone number aren't allowed, unless specifically permitted ahead of time by your Account Manager or your Bandwidth Support Team, and may be charged for at the rate specified in your contract.

PSAP testing instructions

  1. Before making a 911 test call, please try to go to a quiet area so that the operator can hear you clearly. Avoid calling at the busy hours of 6-9 am, 4-7 pm, and the lunch hour in your time zone.
  2. If available, call the 10-digit non-emergency PSAP number and advise the 911 operator that you will be conducting a 911 test call. Many larger PSAPs will ask you to schedule testing during less busy hours. If you need help finding the non-emergency PSAP number, please reach out to your Account Manager or contact your Bandwidth Support Team by opening a ticket or calling 855-864-7776.
  3. After initiating the call, you'll hear a prompt warning that you're connecting to 911. Expect the 911 operator to be abrupt, as you could be blocking a life-threatening call. Don't hang up as soon as you're connected. Instead, tell the call taker that it’s a test call and ask if they have a few moments to verify your information.

If no, say “Thank you, goodbye” and then hang up. Try back at a less busy time or schedule the test call as mentioned above. If yes, ask your questions quickly and then hang up. Here’s an example call script:

You: "Hello, this is not an emergency. This is a test call. Is this the [PSAP you expected to reach]?"

Call taker: "Yes, this is the [PSAP you expected to reach]" or "No, this is a [different PSAP]."

You: "Thank you for your help, goodbye." (hang up).

General information

  • Test calls demand the 911 operator's attention. Please remember that you could be in the way of an emergency situation.
  • PSAPs have limited trunking and stations.
  • Generally, PSAP turnover is high, which could result in inadequate staffing and training.
  • Bandwidth has a comprehensive list of PSAP administrative contacts, so please open a ticket with your Bandwidth Support Team if you have trouble with a specific PSAP. We'll review the call recording and clarify the situation with a supervisor or an appropriate PSAP team member.

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