Next up in the news this week, a story on the continued roll out of 911 centers and text messaging. The FCC has mandated that 911 centers and cell carriers must have texting interoperability by May 14, 2014. Luckily, some jurisdictions are moving along a little faster.
6 U.S. 911 Centers Now Take Texts
Currently six jurisdictions in the U.S. have the capability but hopefully more will add this to their systems sooner than the deadline. There are times when people cannot use their phone such as when talking might reveal a hidden position to a home invader or when phone lines are jammed and only text messages will go through.
Frederick County, Maryland in this upgrade added the system for just one of the local cell carriers. Verizon customers have access now and other carriers like AT&T and T-Mobile will be added as they become compliant with the guidelines.
Ongoing Education on 911 Services
Part of this upgrade must include public education that isn’t just a series of announcements at the time. There must be a continuous, ongoing education campaign about the system and how to access it, too.
When will your area be implementing this upgrade? You should inquire with your 911 or dispatch center and find out if it will roll out with one carrier only or will all cell carriers. Let me know what you find out.
You can leave a comment in the show notes for this episode or shoot me an email to Podmedic@mac.com and let me know when you are getting 911 text access.
Follow-up on the link for this and other news items as well as all of the additional resource links in the show notes for this episode — Barefoot Nurse Kelly Arashin, EMS Today and Episode 329.