(Ping! Zine Web Tech Magazine) – As of last Thursday, users in select locations were able to text 911 in an emergency, a feature that many have been asking years for.
The text messaging feature, supported by AT&T, Sprint, Verizon, and T-Mobile, makes it easier to seek help for those who are deaf, have a speech disability, or in a situation where it is unsafe to talk.
Users in the states of Colorado, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Vermont, and Virginia are able to use this new feature, though only 59 of the 6,000 emergency centers are equipped with the new technology, reports ComputerWorld.
The Federal Communications Commission is urging users to dial 911 instead of texting, unless a “voice call to 911 might otherwise be dangerous or impossible” because police and emergency responders have stated they prefer voice calls over text.
The FCC has yet to announce when more center will feature the 911 text messaging service, though it is ” likely to become more widely available over time as wireless phone companies provide text-to-911 capability and 911 centers modernize their systems to accept text messages.”