Setting up nomadic emergency services in Zoom

This post was most recently updated on July 23rd, 2022

A nomadic emergency service is capable of dynamically detecting and reporting the location of a phone user that is calling in for emergencies. A location or sub-location that needs to be enabled needs to be defined by the administrator, along with network data and a specific address that needs to be addressed in case of an emergency.

It is possible to send the corresponding emergency address to emergency responders when users place an emergency call from within a defined location. It is possible to send this dynamic location data in both the US and Canada to both public safety answering points (PSAPs) as well as an internal safety response team for sites. If the site is outside the US and Canada, the PSAP will retrieve the emergency address on the basis of the ERL/ELIN model for locations outside of the US and Canada. The process of providing emergency services to nomadic communities can be learnt more about here.

There is also the option of configuring a personal emergency address as part of the nomadic emergency services. As a result, users are able to specify a location as well as an emergency address for the case of an emergency. Whenever Zoom customers are in an undefined location, the Zoom client will prompt them to use a default address if they are in an undefined location and when they are in an undefined location. It is possible for the user of the phone to add a new location while making corrections or verifying the address at the same time. Whenever the client detects a new wireless access point nearby, it will automatically store the IP address or the identifier for the access point. An emergency address associated with the location is sent to emergency responders when a user of a phone places an emergency call from that location.

Use the nomadic emergency services dashboard following the construction of a set of locations to track metrics such as the number of users who are not in the area of detection after constructing a set of locations.

The following topics are covered in this article:

  • Limitations of nomadic emergency services
  • Location priority
  • How to enable nomadic emergency services
  • How to add a parent location
  • How to add a sub-location (optional)
  • Fields for parent and sub locations
  • How to add network switch information to a location
  • How to view personal emergency addresses

Prerequisites for setting up nomadic emergency services

  • A license for Zoom Phone is required
  • The owner or admin of the account should have the following privileges:
  • Addresses and phone numbers for emergencies and the setting up of emergency calls
  • It is required that the users of the Zoom phone have a Zoom desktop client (version 5.4.7 or higher) or that a Zoom desk phone is provisioned

Limitations for nomadic emergency services

  • There is no nomadic emergency service used by the Zoom mobile app. If you make an emergency call through the app, the native carrier of your phone will always be used.

Location priority

There are several methods that Zoom Phone can use (if available) to determine the emergency address of a phone user who calls in an emergency situation. In order to rank these methods as high as possible (from highest to lowest), they are ordered by priority.

  1. The MAC address of the network switch, along with the port data, match the location of the company.
  2. Whether it is a company or individual location, the BSS_ID matches. My home site will be the first location to be checked in order to find a match among those in my home site.
  3. Matching IP address/subnet for both public and private networks for the location of the company. I will be able to determine if a match exists among the locations on my home site by using the service.
  4. There is a match between the public IP address and the location of the company. First, the service will try to find a match among the locations in my home site, in order to find a match.
  5. Personal location can be determined based on public and private IP addresses.
  6. There is a match between the public IP address and the location of the individual.
  7. The device must have GPS capabilities and be capable of sending GPS coordinates in order to report emergency calls that are made by a US/CA device that has GPS capabilities, which are then translated by the carrier into (approximate) physical addresses.
  8. The following steps should be followed if none of the above match and the device does not have GPS capabilities:
    • When a user in the US/Canada selects, creates, or confirms their emergency address as the default address in Zoom, Zoom will report the address as their default emergency address. The server will report a location as “Unknown” if the user hasn’t done this yet (and therefore is still provisioned with some inherited site-level default address) if the user hasn’t done this yet. Whenever a caller reports a location as unknown, the call is routed to our carrier’s nationwide emergency services clearinghouse service, which verbally ascertains the location of the caller before directing the call to the appropriate PSAP, after reporting the location as unknown.
    • Zoom will report the configured address of the phone if the phone is in the common area in the US or Canada. Otherwise, Zoom will report the default address of the site as the emergency address if the device is not configured.
      It should be noted that Zoom will report the phone number of the originating caller ID to public safety and emergency services when the phone is outside the US/Canada.

How to enable nomadic emergency services

Note: In order to build up location data for mobile users, you can test the application on a subset of phone users before enabling nomadic emergency services for your entire account. In order to improve your location data, you can enable our bootstrap mode after you have built up your location data in order to identify ways in which you can improve it.

  1. Using the Zoom web portal, sign in to your account.
  2. Select Phone System Management from the navigation menu, followed by Company Info from the drop-down menu.
  3. The first step should be to click on the name of the site that you want to edit, if you have multiple sites.
  4. On the Emergency Services tab, click the Emergency Services button.
  5. For nomadic emergency services to be enabled for all or a specific group of phone users please follow one of these instructions:
    • All phone users in the account or site: From the phone settings menu, click on the Nomadic Emergency Service toggle.
    • Specific phone users: If you click on Add under Feature Testing, you will then be able to set the feature up for specific phone users.
  6. (Optional) Enable these features for nomadic emergency services:
    • Allow personal location: Provide phone users with the option to set up a detectable address for their personal emergency addresses.
    • Enable bootstrap mode: The purpose of this mode is to build out a data set that can be used for detecting the location of companies. As a result, the system is able to report the user’s current location as a company location, and it is also able to report underlying network data for existing company locations. In order for user-reported location and network information to become actively part of your defined company locations, it must be approved by administrators before it can become included there. Admins will be notified by email when these operations are performed (at most one email per day will be sent).
    • Note: For this feature to be available, Zoom users must have the Zoom desktop client, version 5.4.0 or higher, installed on their computer.
    • Email Recipients for Emergency Services Data Maintenance: In this field you will be able to enter internal or external email addresses that will be notified about NOMAD emergency services locations and emergency emergency addresses via alerts and warnings. The type of notifications that can be sent to the user (user, phone device, or location) could be that the endpoint (user, phone device, or location) is lacking an emergency address, or that pending locations have been submitted or network data has been collected when bootstrap mode is enabled.
    • Note: Configure emergency call routing in your account to set the carrier to which emergency calls will be directed if your account has BYOC.

How to add a parent location

The location of nomadic emergency services needs to be defined physically. In addition to having a street address (for example, 123 Main Street, 5th floor), or wireless access point identifiers, each parent or sub-location may also have a network IP address range. As part of a typical hierarchy, there is a Zoom Phone site at the city level, and then within that site, there is a location for each office or building, and then within that building, there is a sublocation for specific floors or suites.

  1. Log into the Zoom web portal by using your Zoom user name and password.
  2. Select Phone System Management from the navigation menu, followed by Company Info from the drop-down menu.
  3. You can change your account settings by clicking on Account Settings.
  4. You can access emergency services by clicking on the Emergency Services tab.
  5. Click on the Manage icon under Locations on the left side of the screen.
  6. Depending on whether you have more than one site, you can choose from one of these options:
    • There will only be one site in the left-hand panel if you do not have multiple sites: On the left-hand panel, select the site you see.
    • In case you have more than one site: Choose the site you wish to add a location to on the left-side panel.
  7. Add a new location by clicking the Add Location button.
  8. There are a number of fields that need to be filled out.
  9. Save the file by clicking on the Save button.

How to add a sub-location (optional)

It is possible to segment emergency addresses further by adding sub-locations if you already have set up a location. The addition of sub-locations can be used to designate specific floors or suites in a building, for example.

  1. To access the Zoom web portal, you will need to sign in.
  2. Click Phone System Management from the navigation menu and then click Company Info from the drop down menu.
  3. You can change your account settings by clicking on Account Settings.
  4. On the Emergency Services tab, you will find a number of options.
  5. You can manage your locations by clicking the Manage button under Locations.
  6. Depending on whether or not you have multiple sites, you need to choose one of the following options
    • There is no need to have multiple sites if you do not have them:
    • There is a main location that can be selected under the one site that is displayed on the left-hand side of the page.
    • Having more than one site would mean the following:
    •  Once you have selected a site, you will need to select a main location that you have previously created.
  7. The sublocations tab will appear once you click on it.
  8. Add a new sublocation by clicking on the Add Sublocation button.
  9. There are a number of fields you need to fill in.
  10. Save the changes by clicking on the Save button.

Fields for parent locations and sub-locations

  • Name: To make it easier for you to identify the emergency, please enter a name.
  • Emergency Address: To associate the location with an emergency address, you need to select an address that is currently in effect. As well as adding a new emergency address, you are also able to edit an existing one.
  • Note: There is no way to change the location’s country or region. It will be necessary for you to create a new location.
  • ELIN: A caller ID for the emergency call is created by using the ELIN (Emergency Location Identification Number) for the outgoing call. When operating outside the United States or Canada, this is an important step that needs to be taken.
  • IP Address: The location can be associated with IPv4 addresses or ranges of IPv4 addresses.
  • BSSID (Optional): If you want to associate the location with the access point, enter the BSSID (MAC address of the access point) in the field. There will be a confirmation by Zoom Phone that no other account locations have been configured with a BSSID.
  • SIP Group (Optional): Please specify the SIP group that you want to associate with your emergency address if you have set up SIP groups or trunks in your account.
  • Note: Usually, a nomadic emergency service will not use this feature, as it is optional. When a site has been configured for location-based routing (LBR), it will use a SIP group to allow it to route calls based on its location as part of the LBR process. Sites located in India are generally the only ones that require LBR in order to operate.

How to add network switch information to a location

Whenever you add a location or sub-location, you have the option of adding the MAC address and switch ports for each location if you want to provide more detailed information about them.

  1. You will need to sign into the Zoom web portal in order to begin using it.
  2. Click Phone System Management in the navigation menu, and then click Company Info in the drop-down menu.
  3. Please click on Account Settings on the left side of the screen.
  4. You will find the Emergency Services tab on the left side of the screen.
  5. You can manage your locations by clicking the Manage button under Locations.
  6. If you have multiple sites, you can choose one of the following options depending on the number of sites you have:
    • It is not necessary to have multiple sites if you do not have them:
    •  On the left-side panel, you will see one site that you can select a location under.
    • The following steps should be taken if you have more than one site:
    • After you have selected a site, you will be able to choose a location that you have already created.
    • Note: Click the Sub Locations tab, and then select a sub-location if you want the information about the network switch to be added to that location.
  7. Add a new network switch by clicking on the Add button next to Network Switch.
  8. Please fill out the fields that are required. You can get more information about each field by hovering over the on-screen tooltips that appear when you click each one.
  9. Save the file by clicking the Save button.

How to view personal emergency addresses

If you enabled Personal Locations with nomadic emergency services, the Zoom desktop client will prompt phone users when they’re in an undefined location and notify you that they’re using a default address. They can add a new location while correcting or verifying the address. The client will automatically save the IP address or wireless access point identifiers for the location. When the phone user places an emergency call from a defined location, the associated emergency address will be sent to emergency responders.

Follow these steps to view personal emergency addresses:

  1. Sign in to the Zoom web portal.
  2. In the navigation menu, click Phone System Management then Company Info.
  3. Click Account Settings.
  4. Click the Emergency Services tab.
  5. Under Locations, click Manage.
  6. Follow one of these options depending on if you have multiple sites:
    • If you don’t have multiple sites: Select the one site you see in the left-side panel.
    • If you have multiple sites: Select a site in the left-side panel to import locations to.
  7. Click Personal Locations in the left-side panel.
  8. Select a phone user.