Is texting to 911 in our future?

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Will the ability to text emergency responders from an accident create a quicker turn around time for personnel to get to a scene of an accident and treat potential victims?  Will texting 911 allows those who are deaf or can’t speak a new life line in these tragic scenarios?  It is too soon to tell but we should be able to see soon….

For the first time in the United States, anyone in an emergency situation can send a text to 911 in certain areas of the country. The four major cellphone carriers began offering that feature back in May.  Why is it not wide spread? Not all emergency call centers are  equipped for the new technology. Many states, including Florida, are behind the curve.  The closest community to Jacksonville with this technology is Georgia’s Paulding County.   But local police agencies said people will be able to text 911 in our area ” eventually.  Nassau County hopes to have their updated system that will accept text messaging by the end of this year.  Most other counties in our area said the same thing.  JSO expects that Duval County will begin to phase in the technology in the next 18 months. St. Johns County said it expects the service to be available later this year. Baker and Clay counties do not have timetables yet.  Right now if you text 911 in most communities in Florida you get a message like this: œPlease make a voice call to 911. There is no text service to 911 available at this time.

Experts on this system warn that once it is operational users need to understand that texts are not always instant. If the system’s overloaded, they can be delayed, so if possible, a call is always better.

To learn more about texting to 911, click here. (http://www.fcc.gov/text-to-911)

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