During April 2014, which is designated as the 9-1-1 Education Month, CTIA-The Wireless Association® has released a video to educate consumers about the availability of Text-to-911. The nation’s four largest wireless providers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless have committed to offer Text-to-911 service in areas that 9-1-1 call centers have asked to receive text messages by May 15 of this year.
Depending on who your wireless provider is, Text-to-911 service may now be available in Iowa, Maine and Vermont and in a number of cities and counties in 11 other states. After May 15, we expect the number of 9-1-1 call centers receiving text messages to grow.
While Text-to-911 will help deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired consumers directly contact a 9-1-1 call center, we should all remember that 9-1-1 call centers still prefer people to call 9-1-1. So, call 9-1-1 if you can, but text 9-1-1 if you can’t.
TDI supports CTIA and the wireless industry’s efforts to educate the public about Text-to-911. Feel free to forward this eNote and share the video, Text-to-911: What is Your Emergency?
Timely Topic Shared by Industry Association in Preparation for Upcoming Milestone
WASHINGTON, D.C. – CTIA, the nation’s association for wireless device manufacturers and service providers, has released an open captioned YouTube video explaining the industry’s case for supporting Text-to-911. As part of 9-1-1 Education Month, this video points out that an important milestone is coming up for Text-to-911, and everyone should know how they can use it during an emergency.
Over the past decade, texting has become an integral part of how we communicate with friends and family, but it also plays a vital role in emergencies, especially for those with disabilities. Learn about the development and adoption of text-to-911 service, and what it means for consumers. Here is the YouTube video:
The four major carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon have voluntarily committed to support Text-to-911 to any 9-1-1 call center that is equipped to accept text messages by May 15, 2014 with full collaboration with the National Emergency Numbering Association (NENA) and the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials (APCO).
Callers in areas where text-to-911 is not available will receive a bounce-back error message advising them to call 9-1-1 by voice or through the relay service. The jurisdictions that are able to receive texts for 9-1-1 calls as of January 2014 are in this PDF chart at:
Where Text-to-911 is available, officials advise callers to inform the dispatcher of their location first, then explain the nature of the emergency. In the next few years, more locations will come online and additional features will be implemented to improve access to our public safety emergency services.