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Text-to-911 Program Debuts Across Nation

Wireless carriers are giving people in emergencies a new way to reach 9-1-1: by text message.
Wireless carriers are giving people in emergencies a new way to reach 911: by text message.

The FCC adopted a program that began debuting in various parts of the country.
“Text-to-911” allows you to text 911 dispatchers with information about an emergency rather than placing a phone call.

The nation’s current 911 system is currently designed around telephone and landline technology. However, with changes in the public's use of technology with mobile personal communication, researchers have developed a new approach for the public to reach out to emergency services.

“Next Generation 911”…the official name for the Text-to-911 program…not only allows citizens to text their emergencies to a local dispatch center, but also enables users to send images, video and other data as well. And from any networking device--including tablets and other electronics.

The FCC has proposed rules that require all network providers to support “Text-to-911” by the end of the 2014 year. It’s then up to local county call centers to invest in the new technology.

Although, the program has not yet debuted in Erie County…there are a handful of dispatch centers around the country that are already adopting the new technology.


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