Cellular Phones Outside of Major Centers

When you are working outside of a major center, such as Edmonton, Calgary or Vancouver – your cell phone may not help you in reaching emergency assistance as it would when you are in a major city. Many, but not all,  rural areas have the 911 emergency phone numbers in place – but some locations do not. You must check the area you will be working in to see what the local emergency phone numbers are.

IF the area you are working in has a local 911 system and you call using your cell phone  you may be linked to the local emergency centre. However, if your provider is located in Edmonton, the call may be routed to the Edmonton EMS services.


IF the area you are working in does not have the 911 system and you dial 911 using a cellular phone, you will be routed to a toll operator who will transfer the call to the appropriate local emergency department. The toll operator may be an operator in the nearest major city or they may be an operator from your cell phone’s home-base. (e.g. Edmonton.) This can use up valuable time in the event of an emergency.


You need to check with your mobile provider and ask how 911 calls are routed when you use your cell phone outside of major centers.

You need to know the direct phone number of the local emergency department when you are working in the field if the local area does not use the 911 system.

You need to check as to whether the area you are working in has the 911 system or not.

You are advised to click on the following link which will take you to the information regarding the Star’s Emergency Link Centre if you are working in the field. Be familiar with how they operate and how to reach them in the event of an emergency. Stars can be reached using a cell phone and your call will not be rerouted.

The Stars Air Ambulance Phone number is:   1-888-888-4567 or #4567 (cellular)

visit our Stars Emergency Link Centre