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Black Hawk County, Iowa, First to Accept 911 Texts

Article Comments  36  

Aug 6, 2009, 1:32 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @phonescooper

The 911 emergency call center in Waterloo, Iowa, is the first in the U.S. to accept text messages in place of phone calls during an emergency. Residents who are enrolled with i wireless, a T-Mobile affiliate, can make use of the service. Other area residents who aren't enrolled will receive a text response from 911 instructing them to call 911 instead. Black Hawk County officials are working with the other carriers in the region so that all residents are served by the program. Because text messages don't carry location information, users are prompted to enter their zip codes before being connected to the 911 text services. If they are in an area not served, they are instructed to call 911. In the future, Black Hawk County also expects to be able to receive picture and video messages as part of 911 emergency services.

more info at Associated Press / Wireless Week »

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Comments

This forum is closed.

This forum is closed.

Jayshmay

Aug 6, 2009, 1:55 PM

If theres a frinkin emergency...

If theres a frinkin emergency I won't have time for a stupid txt msg!

I'm obviously very anti-txt msg'g.
I can only see this coming in handy if like you have an intruder in your house and you need to stay quiet. Then it would be great.
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This is intended for DEAF people!
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maokh

Aug 10, 2009, 12:48 PM

Great idea in fringe coverage areas

I have been in quite a few situations where coverage was not adequate to even establish a voice call, but there was just enough to send and receive text messages.

They were also potentially dangerous, and it would be difficult to quickly request help. My main solution was to use twitter and a contact back in town to ask for help if trouble arrived. Sometimes iridium is difficult to use under certain terrain conditions. I'd imagine it could really help SAR.

Carriers do have the rough positioning information available, and the handsets do have AGPS on board. Its already set up to pass location data out of band. In the future, something similar could be used when texting 911.

Not to mention that if you were under the bed hiding d...
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Slammer

Aug 6, 2009, 8:48 PM

Diamond In the Rough.

I find this quite innovative and useful, but there is an operative sentance that stood out to me. You need to enter a zip code before a 911 text can be made. For anyone that knows the zip of where they are when only a text will do, this is great. But if you are vacationing or visiting, I see a problem as how would one know the exact zip of the exact location one is at if in the next zone over from where one might be staying? Some towns have 2,3 or even 4-5 zips within the township area. Most emergencies will probably be voice calls, but hypothetically speaking, I would like to know since a texting signal currently cannot be pinpointed. Curious.
Sentence not "sentance". Sorry. Typing in the dark so I don't wake the spouse. Embarassed
Like anything new, there will be flaws in the system. I think the biggest issue here is whether someone will text enough information. If you listen to recordings of 911 calls, there's often a lot of back and forth between the operator and the caller...
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Note to self: when stuffing someone in my automobile trunk, whom I forgot to check for a cell phone. When he yells from the trunk asking for our current zip code, I lie. Good to know.
Drunk

Aug 7, 2009, 12:00 PM

Horrible Idea

i nd hlp, pza ht wnt giv me my ordr they stl my mny.

Im beng raped lol

gt in wrck frnd die lol

idk brb
You can text 911 and let them know ahead of time that you are about to get into an accident because you're busy texting. This way they can be there before it happens. It is all about saving minutes off from the time of the accident to the travel to th...
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This is intended for DEAF people!
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