KANSAS CITY, Mo. — AT&T announced it is the first cell phone company to utilize a new system designed to help people in emergencies get help faster.

It launched first in Kansas, Missouri, and a handful of other states.

The system is designed to use GPS to find the location of a person calling 9-1-1. It then routes the phone call to the nearest 9-1-1 call center. AT&T said the technology works nationwide.

The company said the system can locate and route a call within 165 feet of the cell phone.

Previously calls were routed based on cell towers, which can cover up to a 10-mile radius, according to AT&T.

The cell provider said using cell towers instead of GPS often caused delays in emergency response, especially in locations where state, county or city boundaries overlap.

AT&T said it will roll out the new program to additional markets and states in the coming days. It will be available nationwide in the coming days.

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