Well now, this is certainly an ironic development. According to an article distributed by the Associated Press, the FCC is working to give mankind the ability to reach emergency services at 911 via text messaging. You read that correctly, the very same distracting activity that has led to so many vehicular tragedies and other lethal mishaps will soon become our lifeline. You know, for those moments when we find ourselves trapped under rubble or are about to be mauled by a grizzly bear. Only after you text your friends first, naturally.
The FCC plans to have a nationwide and fully implemented 911 texting system by May 2014, with phone service providers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon coming together on this agreement to provide access to this system for their users. Statistically speaking, roughly 90% of the nation carrying mobile devices will be able to reach 911 via text messaging — that’s going to be a whole lot of people sending pictures of their meals to emergency service operators on standby.
While this does seem to be an unorthodox approach to getting into contact with emergency services, the FCC firmly believes that the ability to text will benefit those in situations where speaking would put them in additional and unnecessary danger. Situations we assume cause cave-ins, avalanches, or kidnappers getting irate.
Even once this system of communication is initiated, the FCC encourages that we always call 911 and only use the texting system when the emergency warrants it, because the last thing we want is this obnoxious texting culture rubbing off on the operators. Next thing you know, they’d be texting “pics or it didn’t happen” to substantiate your emergency.
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