Dialing 911 was a necessary lesson growing up. It was as likely to be explained by the puppets on Sesame Street as was “look both ways before you cross.” But it turns out kids could soon be learning to text in the event of an emergency instead.
“…soon, a new FCC initiative called Next Generation 911 (NG911) will allow users to send texts, photos and videos to emergency answering points while developing “location accuracy mechanisms” to help find callers faster.
It is kind of crazy that while you tweet your location and check-in on Foursqaure to let the world know your favorite place to eat, you can’t as readily get help in even of an emergency. Even FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski admitted the system was long in need of an overhaul while speaking about the new NG911 proposal at a meeting of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials in Philadelphia last week.
“The unfortunate truth is that the capability of our emergency response communications has not kept pace with commercial innovation — has not kept pace with what ordinary people now do every day with communications devices.”
Though texting 911 may seem like a logical shift, some say that the new method is not reliable enough. According to Mashable, when students in 2007’s Virginia Tech’s massacre attempted to text for emergency assistance, their messages did not get through.
Genachowski is assuring the public that the FCC is working to ensure that the texting system becomes as trusted as the old school dial in method, saying:
“The shift to NG911 can’t be about if, but about when and how.”
What do you think of the shift from dialing 911 to texting it? Will it be your new go-to or is the old way still more trustworthy for you? Weigh in Clutchettes and gents- tell us what you think!