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Verizon

Verizon To Begin Offering "Text To 911" Service 194

Posted by samzenpus
from the alert-the-authorities dept.
An anonymous reader writes "In a move that will likely elicit a 'why didn't they implement that sooner?' response, Verizon in the next 12 months will begin implementing a 'text to 911' feature that, as the name implies, will enable users contact 911 operators via text message to report an emergency. The feature will be particularly helpful for the hearing and/or speech impaired, and for folks who find themselves in dangerous situations where making a voice 911 call isn't advisable. Beginning in early 2013, Verizon will start rolling out the feature in various metropolitan areas before progressing to a nationwide rollout soon thereafter. In many respects, this move has been a long time coming, and something the FCC has been championing for a few years."
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Verizon To Begin Offering "Text To 911" Service

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  • by crow (16139) on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:52AM (#39916103) Homepage Journal

    Now, instead of getting multiple phone calls about a traffic accident, the dispatcher can much more quickly ignore the duplicates.

    This is an ideal way of sending information when you want to report that you saw something that may need their attention, but you personally don't need a response.

  • Re:Indeed! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheABomb (180342) on Monday May 07, 2012 @10:52AM (#39916109)

    Because 911 operators need people to communicate with them intelligibly?

  • by sjbe (173966) on Monday May 07, 2012 @11:00AM (#39916201)

    This is an ideal way of sending information when you want to report that you saw something that may need their attention, but you personally don't need a response.

    Presuming you can get sufficient detail in the message to make it useful. 911 Operators typically ask questions for a reason. I can just see a whole bunch of text like "I saw an accident on I-80" with no further detail in the messages. Then the operator may need to call to find out the details.

  • by Githaron (2462596) on Monday May 07, 2012 @11:00AM (#39916203)
    Why hasn't someone created 911 video chat for mobile phones yet. Such a feature could be life saving. Rather than someone having to explain how bad the wounds are and what is happening, they can show the dispatcher and EMTs. The dispatcher can give better advice to the victim or victim's friend and even have quick videos on how to complete the action. Meanwhile, the EMTs can use the video feed to better figure out the best course of action before they get on site. If nothing else, a face is probably more reassuring than just a voice when you have an emergency.
  • Re:Indeed! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2012 @11:02AM (#39916227)

    I see your point, but if you have ever listened to 911 calls you would see that just because it is vocal does not mean it will be intelligible.

  • You need to contact 911 and you are worried about $0.25 txt charges?

    Perhaps you aren't clear on the concept of a "true emergency".

  • Ridiculous (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2012 @11:49AM (#39916787)

    User: theres a hijacker on the plane
    Cop: Don't you mean "there's"?

    Your scenario is absurd. There's no way a cop would be literate enough to recognize grammatical mistakes.

  • Re:Indeed! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 07, 2012 @12:48PM (#39917465)

    It's funny how infrastructure gets privatized based entirely on how recent it is.

    Water, sewage, roads, and postal service -- existed since time immemorial, or at least since before the Roman Empire. Today: run directly by the government, more or less competently.

    Electricity and heating gas -- existed for a little over a hundred years. Today: run privately by a government-designated, very tightly regulated monopoly. Anecdotally, I have more complaints with my electric company than the city water bureau.

    Telephone, cable, landline internet -- existed for less than a century. Today: privately-run, less regulated duopoly (at best). Consumer complaints: fairly high.

    Cellular voice/data -- existed for a couple decades. Barely-regulated private kleptocracy; every provider sucks in an individual, unique way.

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