FCC to allow texting to 911

The FCC is looking into allowing people to report incidents via SMS from their mobile phones to 911. They are also considering mobile video to show the 911 service what is going on.

The current 911 system handles around 230 million calls per year with most of the calls being from mobile phones. One situation influenced this move to allow texting to 911 was the Virginia Tech shooting.

“The technological limitations of 9-1-1 can have tragic, real-world consequences,” the release said. “During the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting, students and witnesses desperately tried to send texts to 9-1-1 that local dispatchers never received. If these messages had gone through, first responders may have arrived on the scene faster with firsthand intelligence about the life-threatening situation that was unfolding.”

If the 911 system gets the appropriate upgrades to handle texting it is believed to improve 911 response time drastically. The FCC is also considering a “ping” system where alarms or sensors will be able to notify 911 of a chemical spill or fire immediately. So if the FCC does go ahead with this, would you text 911 or call it?

Source: Wired

Learn more the author of this post:

I was a Computer and Information Technology student at Purdue University. I have always wanted my own website and have been fascinated with technology my entire life. So here I am, what's next?