New 911 Texting Program In The Works - WLNS TV 6 Lansing - Jackson | Your Local News Leader

New 911 Texting Program In The Works

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(WLNS) - Imagine being in a situation where you had to call for help, but couldn't speak. Now, imagine being able to text 9-1-1. Well, soon you may be able to.

Beginning Friday the nation’s top four cell phone companies will make it possible for a Text to 9-1-1 program.

It's designed to be particularly useful in situations where you're afraid to speak or for the deaf or hearing impaired.

However the FCC says although the technology is available, most 9-1-1 centers across the country don't have the technology to accept the text messages.

It’s “just a lot of technological hurdles underneath the surface that people don't think about all the time.  Unlike phone calls to 911, which are basically given priority, this text message (program) is not given priority at this point,” said Jessica Dolcourt,, Senior Edtor.

9-1-1 dispatchers also say calls will continue to be the preferred method of contact because text messages are unlikely to provide all of the necessary information about the emergency.

The Eaton County Central Dispatch says they hope to have the technology by August. However, it could be another six months after that before the program is up and running.

Clinton and Ingham County dispatch centers also plan to offer the Text to 911 program.

Click: FCC - Text to 911 service
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