FCC announces 911 emergency texts for 2014

As previously discussed in this blog, many individuals in an intense emergency situation lack the ability to call someone for help, which is why emergency texts are becoming an increasingly viable option. The Federal Communications Commission is catching on as well. Earlier this week, a ruling was made by the FCC that is designed to enhance the effectiveness of emergency text messages.

The 911 service has received some traction with SMS technology, but it has traditionally been designed for voice communication. People in trouble dial the number and speak with a dispatcher about the nature of their emergency. But, as studies continue to indicate that texting is taking over traditional phone calls as the most popular function on mobile phones, it's up to those in charge of 911 to adjust the service to cater to new technologies.

That's why, according to an article in HLN, the FCC is working with the United State's four biggest wireless carriers – AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint – to offer the ability to send text messages to 911. This means that calling 911 will no longer be necessary, as users can simply text their emergency, which could save time and save lives.

The service won't be nationwide until sometime in 2014, but FCC chairman Julius Genachowski released a statement expressing his satisfaction in the direction of the initiative.

"Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century," Genachowski said. "Today, we are one step closer towards that vital goal."

This exemplifies how so many organizations are coming around to the value in text messaging. Twenty years after its humble beginnings, the text message continues to serve as an efficient communication tool for all purposes, including asking for emergency help. As more organizations look to implement emergency texts, Swift SMS Gateway offers the tools needed to launch an effective service.