Public Safety Answering Point

What Does Public Safety Answering Point Mean?

A public safety answering point (PSAP) is a call center responsible for answering calls to an emergency telephone number for police, firefighting and ambulance services. A PSAP facility runs 24 hours a day, dispatching emergency services or passing 911 calls on to public or private safety agencies. Trained operators are responsible for dispatching the emergency services.


A public safety answering poiont is also known as public safety access point.

Techopedia Explains Public Safety Answering Point

Most PSAPs can now identify caller locations for landline calls as well as determine the location of mobile phone callers. Each PSAP has between two and 12 answering point units (APUs). These receive land-line and wireless enhanced 911 emergency calls. For a land-line caller, the APU shows the name, address and number. For a wireless caller, the system displays the address of the wireless tower that delivers the call, the mobile number and the estimated location of the caller.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…