Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Texting In Your Emergency - 911 Service to get Makeover

911 was established in 1968.  Americans call in roughly 650,000 times per day.

Sometimes maligned, I have been a staunch defender of 911 dispatch.  My family has had to use them 4 times over the past 15 years and the quick actions of the 911 person on the other end of the phone, saved my loved one's life.  One dispatcher even prayed with me as I thought I was watching a loved one pass away.  Thankfully, those awful moments are only memories and the loved ones are still with me today.

When 911 first hit the scene in 1968, many consumers were not even thinking about mobile phones much less texting.

In a recent review of statistics, the FCC found that 70% of 911 calls now come from mobile phones.  FCC Chairman, Julius Genachowski, announced the nationwide initiative this week.  Funding and timing of the initiative remain unclear but it is good that 911 is in the planning stages of the makeover.

What is your opinion?  Is this too little too late?

I would like to see the FCC also consider reviewing their processes so they can better leverage other technology such as:
a. importing geocoding from the cell phones placing the calls to better track kidnapped or victims on the move
b. perhaps even leverage popular check in software
c. ability to better leverage social networks such as Twitter for callers that are under duress.

What would your suggestions include?


"911 Getting 21st Century Update to Allow Text Messages",, November 23, 2010.

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