Revolutionizing Emergency Response: The Impact of Automated Abandoned Callback (AAC)

Posted in All, NGA911 on Nov 14, 2023

In the fast-paced realm of emergency response systems, each passing moment holds paramount importance in ensuring the safety and well-being of communities during critical situations. However, one persistent challenge that Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) have grappled with is the issue of abandoned 911 calls. Addressing this challenge head-on, innovative solutions such as Automated Abandoned Callback (AAC) technology have emerged as transformative tools in revolutionizing emergency response systems.


In this blog from NGA, we'll discuss the significance of 911 training and promoting the education and awareness of NG911 for first responders. We'll cover why training is necessary, what it should include, and how it benefits emergency response operations.


Table of Contents:


  1. Understanding the Challenge of Abandoned 911 Calls
  2. Enter Automated Abandoned Callback (AAC) Technology
  3. The Transformative Impact of AAC
  4. Automated abandoned callback and text benefits
  5. Abandoned Wireless Call Handling Protocols
    1. Purpose
    2. Definitions
    3. Protocol
  6. Conclusion


Understanding the Challenge of Abandoned 911 Calls:

Within the intricate network of emergency response, abandoned or disconnected 911 calls have posed a significant hurdle for PSAPs across the nation. These abandoned calls, often due to accidental disconnections or misdials, create a strain on the emergency response infrastructure. They demand immediate attention and resources, impacting the ability of 911 specialists to efficiently manage authentic emergency calls and respond promptly.


Enter Automated Abandoned Callback (AAC) Technology:

Amidst these challenges, the advent of Automated Abandoned Callback (AAC) technology has heralded a new era in emergency response. Integrated into NGA's cutting-edge NEXiSConnect call-handling system, AAC has emerged as a transformative feature designed to swiftly address disconnected or abandoned 911 calls.


AAC operates as an automated mechanism, seamlessly initiating callbacks to individuals who might have inadvertently disconnected their emergency calls. Leveraging sophisticated algorithms and advanced protocols, AAC swiftly reconnects these callers with 911 services without necessitating manual intervention from emergency dispatchers.


The Transformative Impact of AAC

The deployment of AAC within emergency response systems has proven to be a game-changer. By substantially reducing wait times for citizens attempting to contact emergency services, AAC ensures swift reconnection to 911 specialists. This automated process not only optimizes response times but also enables specialists to focus their attention on genuine emergency calls, thereby enhancing the efficiency and effectiveness of emergency response operations.


Moreover, AAC technology plays a vital role in mitigating the burden on 911 specialists. By automating the callback process for disconnected calls, it alleviates the need for manual callbacks, allowing specialists to concentrate on critical emergencies. This not only streamlines operations but also contributes to the mental well-being of these frontline responders, reducing their stress levels associated with managing a high volume of abandoned calls.


AAC also holds immense promise in triaging and prioritizing calls, distinguishing genuine emergencies from accidental calls or misdials. This distinction allows emergency responders to allocate their resources more efficiently, ensuring that prompt assistance reaches those in genuine need.


Automated abandoned callback and text benefits

  1. Saves time - Removes the burden from call takers to return abandoned calls, allowing them to focus on true emergency calls.
  2. Minimizes resources - Eliminates the chance of an abandoned call tying up two call takers, and the rollover of calls to another PSAP.
  3. Maintains budget - Saves time and resources, enabling PSAP administrators to make the most effective use of budgets.

Improves morale by helping call takers eliminate some of their workload, reducing their stress.




PURPOSE To establish guidelines which are to serve as a protocol for efficient and effective call processing of abandoned 9-1-1 calls for those Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) that receive direct wireless 9- 1-1 calls.



  • Abandoned Call – A call placed to 9-1-1 in which the caller disconnects before the call can be answered by the 9-1-1 telecommunicator.
  • Alternate Routed – A call is “alternate routed” and an abandoned call is created if; the call rings at the intended PSAP for configured timer and the intended PSAP does not answer the 911 call is rerouted to the pre designated Alternate PSAP.
  • Callback – The process performed by a certified 9-1-1 telecommunicator to attempt to reconnect with a wireless telephone when a 9-1-1 call has been disconnected for any reason.
  • Call Trace Procedure – The process by which a certified 9-1-1 telecommunicator may obtain subscriber information when an exigent public safety need for subscriber information from the cellular provider of record exists.
  • Dispatchable Location – The verified or corroborated street address of the calling party plus additional information such as floor, suite, apartment or similar information that may be needed to adequately identify the location of the calling party.
  • Exigent Circumstance – The totality of a situation that would cause a reasonable person to believe that relevant immediate action is necessary to prevent physical harm to life or prevent some other consequence that would otherwise jeopardize public safety.
  • Non-service initialized Device (NSI Device) – A mobile device for which there is no valid service contract with any cellular provider. As such, NSI devices have no associated subscriber name and address, do not provide a call-back number, cannot be called back, and may not provide location. Phones that are not registered for service still have the ability to contact 9-1-1. These devices usually have a “911” area code for the call back number.
  • Open Line – A 9-1-1 call received by a PSAP that does not result in any productive two-way communication between the caller and certified 9-1-1 telecommunicator.
  • Probable Location Circle – The circle displayed around geographical location (i.e. latitude and longitude) on the mapping application, which has been provided for a wireless call. The size of the circle surrounding the coordinates is in direct relation to the distance of uncertainty provided at the time a wireless call is answered or a Retransmit is performed. For example: the larger the uncertainty, the larger the circle; the smaller the uncertainty, the smaller the circle.
  • Pocket Dial - A call which occurs when a device accidentally calls 9-1-1, and a person is unknowingly connected to 9-1-1. In some cases, smartphones are programmed to call 9-1-1 automatically after a specific button or sequence of buttons are pressed. See definition of “unintentional call”.
  • Retransmit – The process of requesting an Automatic Location Identification (ALI) refresh or rebid through the 9-1-1 system in an attempt to obtain more accurate location information of a wireless caller.
  • Silent Call - A 9-1-1 call received by a PSAP wherein there is an open line call, where no one is speaking or responding to the certified 9-1-1 telecommunicator’s voice, and the call is not disconnected. There are a variety of reasons for silent calls, some including physical disabilities, TTY users, unsafe circumstances, medical emergencies or conditions, language barriers, or


  • Unintentional call. If, after administering the standard 9-1-1 greeting:
    • The caller remains silent, or is unable to participate in productive two-way conversation with the telecommunicator, thereby presenting as an Open Line, or
    • The caller makes sounds, vocalizations or noises that do not arise to two-way conversation with the telecommunicator, or
    • Background noises—such as a threatening or angry conversation, difficulty breathing, whimpering, or any other sounds that indicate the caller needs emergency assistance—are present
  • Telecommunicator – Any PSAP personnel certified and in compliance, according to the State 911 Department standards, for answering emergency 9-1-1 calls for service.
  • Unintentional Call - A 9-1-1 call received by a PSAP that is determined to be accidental or inadvertent in nature after it
    • shows no immediate need for emergency services, and
    • does not indicate an emergency situation after being processed using the Silent Call procedure and thoroughly investigated by a telecommunicator, or is confirmed as a misdial by the caller. Many times an unintentional 911 call has no dispatchable location nor true emergency, it is not mandatory and in the vast majority of unintentional calls it is not prudent to dispatch resources for this type of call.


PROTOCOL Any incoming call delivered to a PSAP on the 9-1-1 equipment, abandoned call procedure be part of the telecommunicator evaluation process.

A call is “abandoned” when;

  1. The caller hangs up prior to being answered; or
  2. The call is alternate routed by the system.

When an abandoned 9-1-1 call is received, the telecommunicator shall:

  1. Redial the caller.
  2. Leave a voicemail or accept the report of the emergency incident, and take all appropriate actions regarding the reported incident.


In conclusion, Automated Abandoned Callback (AAC) technology stands as a testament to the continuous evolution and enhancement of emergency response systems. Its integration into call-handling systems like NEXiSConnect marks a pivotal advancement, revolutionizing the landscape of emergency response operations. Stay tuned for further insights and in-depth exploration of AAC technology's operational intricacies and profound impact on emergency response systems.


Connect with our trusted NG9-1-1 providers and experts at NGA today!