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Cell phones can help get crews close but don't provide an exact location.

At the Summit County Communication Center, Lisa Hans and other dispatchers are in the business of helping others.

"Everyone wants to help someone," Hans said.

But now it's one of those rare moments when it's the emergency staff that could use some help.

"People use their cell phones mainly to call 911, and we have challenges figuring out where people are from time to time," Hans said.

Cell phones have helped more people call 911, but in recent years responders say in resort communities, including Summit County, tourists at times don't know where they are located. They often giving just vague descriptions.

"They will just say 'we are in Colorado in the mountains,'" Hans said.

Cell phones can help narrow down where a caller is but that information usually only gets emergency crews close to a caller. This presents a bigger problem when roughly 25 percent of all callers can't tell a dispatcher their exact location.

"It doesn't really give us the exact location. It won't tell us the unit or name of the complex," Hans said.

In a business where seconds and minutes matter, the hope it to educate people visiting Summit County.

"Take some time to get familiar with your surroundings, same thing when walking around town kind of know what street you're on," Hans said.

Businesses could also mark their addresses more clearly and hotels could give out cards with address information. Dispatchers also say if other communities have run across the same situation and found a better solution, to let them know on their website at http://summit911.org/

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