Verizon to start allowing texts to 911 emergency services


We can all agree that 911 emergency services can be a life-saver. Therefore, it is a service that should be improved as much as possible, and it seems Verizon Wireless will be the first to take the next step forward. Big Red is currently working on rolling out the ability to send text messages to 911.

Whether you are in a hostage situation or have speech/hearing disabilities, calling 911 can simply be inconvenient (or impossible). Just imagine how many lives could be saved with this feature? And it is a bit disappointing to hear that companies have been taking their sweet time with this since it was suggested by the FCC in 2010.

It might also be a good idea if our phones’ GPS and location services could activated once one sends a text to 911. That would probably be a software issue, but it is definitely possible. I know this could raise certain privacy concerns, in terms of location. Personally, I would be more than willing to give my location to the authorities during emergency situations, though. But what do you think?

Verizon is said to have this feature ready by early 2013, at the soonest. It will simply go through Verizon’s towers as normal text messages, so no upgrades or changes will be needed once the service rolls out. Until then, we will have to stick with good ol’ calling when we want to reach 911 operators. So, what is next? 911 E-mail?

[Via: Engadget]

Edgar Cervantes

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  1. could u imagine? GURL MY HOUSE GOT BROKED INTO!!!! SOMEONE TEXT 911!!!!!!!!11

    1. I’m on it!

      “There iz an intruder in my house. Gte over here quick, lolz”

      Frickin’ typos!

      1. You forgot an OMG or two and there’s way too many vowels in that. :P

  2. We need 911 wrist watches. A push of a button and they’re on their way

    1. it’s called life alert.

      1. ive fallen and i cant get up!

        1. lol.. best comment!

  3. How bout a 911 widget? Or shortcut on the lockscreen?

  4. Oh Great! why dont they make a facebook page so I can facebook them and set up a twitter id too whilst their at it . .

  5. This is actually a very useful and potentially life saving service. Say you are hiding from someone who is armed and dangerous, talking will easily give away your position, but sending a quick text message is MUCH quieter

  6. As a supervisor for a 911 center I can see both positives and some negatives with this. The positives are obvious; ease of use, discrete and so on. But the negatives are like the current technology, 911 hang ups. You would be surprised how many come into a 911 center a day. Now a good share of them are pocket or “butt” dial. But the others are children playing with phones that no longer have service, as they will still dial 911. Most people apparently don’t understand this as they give there old phones to there kids to play with and constantly tie up our lines. And we are unable to call these phones back. So will that feature be available when next Gen 911 rolls out? And there would have to be phase 2 coordinates with these texts as there is now with calls. What if its a partial message with no location? And Verizon may offer this but if the center does not have the updated equipment they will not get the message. So it may work in some areas and not others. Just my point of view as I deal with this every day.

    1. I agree that that are definitely possible negatives to this system, but the positives are VERY heavy in my opinion. I’ll give just 2 examples that are heavy on my mind.

      1) I have epilepsy, and with my last 2 seizures, I dislocated my jaw while seizing. My mouth was stuck open, and although I could talk, it was hard to understand what I was saying since I could barely move my jaw. It would have been nice to be able to send a text and say “I am epileptic, I had a seizure and dislocated my jaw”

      2) I went to RIT, which has one of the largest deaf communities in the world. Most of the deaf students have devices which can send text messages, but cannot make phone calls, since the don’t need that feature. If something happens to one of these students, they would still be able to contact 911 for assistance.

      I’m sure there’s hundreds of other possible situations that this would be beneficial, but I also see that technical limitations, added monitoring, and other issues could get in the way as well.

  7. Maybe there is a fine line of what is right and wrong regusrding this service we just need to find it

  8. Sending GPS and any other reasonable location data when a call or text is sent to 911 ?

    Sure, send it ! Not a privacy concern in this particular case. Just don’t slippery slope it to other numbers.

    But perhaps someone wants to call the cops, or any emergency service and be anonymous ? Maybe there are valid uses, but there are traditional numbers that can be called as an alternative.

  9. This is a GREAT IDEA. Home invasion, robbery, etc. Embedded beacon gps, auto silent, activate listening speaker, activate private cam front and be back, and other settings would be ideal. A widget with 4 digit pass would be ideal. It would stop accidental dialing and save lives. Imagine a serious situation with put precious moments to spare.
    KUDOS to every carrier that adopts it.

  10. It needs to be able to send our GPS coordinates with the text messages to save time.

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