The information below is to be used by Telephone Companies (local exchange carriers) providing dial tone to customers within San Mateo County. The non-911 Emergency PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point) access numbers should be provided to the telephone operators/services. This is to ensure when a customer dials 0 to access emergency services, the telephone company operator can easily locate the correct PSAP based upon city name or common name.
This was created at the request from Telephone Companies for a "default" or "backdoor" number to PSAP's to transfer callers who dialed 0. This was an unacceptable solution, as it would likely require at least one additional transfer to connect the caller to the correct PSAP. This would not be necessary if everyone used 911, but some people still continue to use 0 to access police, fire and ambulance services.
Example: Caller 1 dials 0 and speaks to the operator and asks for the Anytown fire department. If the operator just uses the "default" number, the caller would be transferred to the designated PSAP. If the "default" PSAP does not provide fire service to Anytown, the caller must be transferred 2nd time to the Anytown fire department (this holds especially true for San Mateo County where there are 17 fire agencies).
Example: Caller 2 dial 0 and speaks to the operator and asks for the Anytown fire department. The operator searches the list and connects the caller directly to the Anytown fire department.
As you can see in the above examples, the 2nd caller would have a much faster access to the fire department. In an emergency, every second may count!