Contacting 911 Might Soon Be Just A Text Message Away - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Contacting 911 Might Soon Be Just A Text Message Away

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Soon, all Americans everywhere may be able to get help from 911 just by sending a text message. Soon, all Americans everywhere may be able to get help from 911 just by sending a text message.
NBC RIGHT NOW-- Soon, all Americans everywhere may be able to get help from 911 just by sending a text message.

Under new rules approved by the Federal Communications Commission, all cellular providers must support texts to 911 by the end of the year.

The service is currently available in 17 states and only with major national wireless carriers.

According to the FCC nearly 400,000 Americans contact 911 on a daily basis, and about 70-percent of those calls are from cell phones.

However, there could be some challenges with texting to 911.          

Dispatchers might not know where to send help if they get a text unless the location is given to them by hand, and in some cases the person contacting 911 does not know where they are.

The emergency 911 coordinator for Washington State said dispatchers in the Northwest do not have the texting technology yet.

When the upgrades do come in, calling 911 will still be the best way to reach emergency services.

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