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You can now text to 911 in an emergency

Texting 911

Starting today, you'll be able to send a text message to 911 in an emergency situation. The service will be supported by AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile. Text 911 is only available in a small set of select cities to start, however it will be rolled out everywhere by the end of 2014.

Using the service is easy, just send a new text message to 911 with the details of your emergency — though you'll need to remember to send your location as pinning things down over text isn't the same as it is with phone calls. You'll also be able to send a photo along with your message, though that feature isn't supported across the board just yet.

You can read more on the Text-to-911 service at the FCC's website.

Source: FCC; Via: Lifehacker



There are 95 comments. Sign in to comment

Jaskys says:

Wow that's swag

Someone test it out and tell us how easy it is lol

tkdmacgeek says:

Now you can contact 9-11 via text when McDonald's runs out of chicken nuggets.

ahmedjan87 says:

Lol Dem Jehovahs witness

ahmedjan87 says:

Wait I just remembered that this thing already existed in my country for a long time

Moodi1520 says:

What's your country name?

ahmedjan87 says:

It's a little middle eastern country called Jordan (yes we have 911)

Moodi1520 says:

هههههههه انا كمان من الاردن بس ما كنت اعرف انو منقدر نبعت لشرطه SMS LOL.

ahmedjan87 says:

بلا بتجدر مرة سمعتها عالراديو

Moodi1520 says:

حلو طلعنا سابقين امريكا و انا مش داري.

EliaJada says:

هاهاها نحنا من متى عنا مسجات للشرطة ؟؟ والله ما كنت عارف

Moodi1520 says:

هههههه عنجد ما كنت اعرف

WitnessFTP says:

This sounds more like the Mormons - they usually wear white shirts with black ties and carry a book (Book of Mormon or a KJV).

JW attire is not limited to white shirts/black ties and they usually carry a lot more than one book - more like bookbag filled with literature. The message is different too - it is not "have you met a guy."

But I guess the point was any religious group coming to the door.

MethodGT says:

But "couple" usually means husband and wife, or similar pairings. And notice it mentions only one tie. Definitely the JWs. And the "guy" is is obviously Jehovah.

WitnessFTP says:

White shirts (plural), pants. Both these are for men (I've never seen Mormon or JW women wearing pants). JWs NEVER refer to Jehovah as a "guy".

But, again, the text was undoubtedly a jab refering to any religious group coming to the door.

dalydose says:

Well, the citizen reporting the suspicious activity doesn't know they are religious. WE assume that "a book" = "The Bible" and the "the guy" = "Jesus/Jehova".  It the dude is clueless about religion in general, he wouldn't recall the name, he'd just say "they were asking if I met some guy".    Wow...jokes aren't funny when you have to explain them! ha ha

aitt says:

Help me Obi One Kenobe. You're the only one that can save me.

Acbuono5 says:

No just god no. I hate the internet a little bit more because of you today.

aitt says:

Eat a cookie

AndyGriff says:

Why, what's wrong with Oaby One Carnoby?

DVELOPinc says:

The idea is awesome especially if your in a situation where you can't speak but, the amount of info you need to send could be an issue in situations where you don't have time to txt out a bunch of info.

lippidp says:

I'm sure OS's or apps will make it easier soon. So, after you type in your emergency like "OMG I just broke a nail" maybe there's a button that you can press that will get your location from GPS, for example.

desolateone says:

Considering on a WP you can attach your location, that's already a snap. ;)

Why Not says:

I can now text a car in an emergency? Wat

Fiann says:

Yep. You text the nature of your emergency car need and they bring you a Porsche.

Deaconclgi says:

Texting a car only works if you send a text to KITT, he will only reply if your name is Michael.

Rockartisten says:

Mormon joke, how original. It would have been much funnier if you said there were some black guys in your backyard. That would have created a stir. :)

kwambe5 says:

But it would not have been any more original.

Rockartisten says:

At least it would have been unprecedented for a news site. :)

aitt says:

Or just reality...

kwambe5 says:

True, I have black guys in my back yard all the time. (I have five boys.)

Deaconclgi says:

Reality is that the mindset to be a criminal is no respector of persons or color of one's skin. The person that chose the color of their skin in their mother's womb...please speak up or forever hold your peace....

Hmmm...*hears crickets*...

Shut up crickets!!!!....You didn't choose your color either!!!!

kwambe5 says:

And while I agree whole heartedly with that statement, I believe the comment was referencing stereotypes. Whether they be of Mormons or dark skinned males. I simply was making the point that not all dark people are out to get in your back yard to do something illegal. Just like all paler hued individuals from the south are not red-necks!

Deaconclgi says:

Thank you for the explanation and I agree with your statements.

dalydose says:

I think the comment was referencing a fictional person who was unaware of the stereotype.  He only knew that there were people asking about "some guy".  The name eluded his memory because he has no frame of reference for whom they were referring.  If he had written "2 black guys in my backyard", that reference would have been specific to race and also communicated a bias.  He didn't say "Two Mormons", so the comparison falls short.  WE assume that "the book" = bible and "a guy" = Jesus based on our own experience.    I mean it wasn't THAT funny of a joke, but it's less funny when explained. :/


aitt says:

My response is one of ignorance and response to a comment of ignorance. Kwambe5 caught it.

jgbstetson says:

Can anyone confirm this works?

This needs to be everywhere....not just the states. Not sure why it isn't already a thing, can't always call in certain emergencies.

bobandted says:

Autocorrect could be a bummer here.

Richard_Indy says:

I need a bambalance, a dear bit me in the neck. Sir, where are you? I don't know, hold on, lemme txt you back....

Who's gonna try it out first to see if it works in their area??!!! Lol

erzhik says:

Imagine texting them when you are drunk.

gerrymad says:

Please send  condom to 123 Main St. It's an emergency

MikeSo says:

Zzzz. Let me know when I can snapchat them.

crise says:

All OS should have a special SMS format/app/mode for this, that automatically attaches your location. Even better, you should be able to give 911 permission to track your position with the hit of a button, until you turn it off yourself. Allong with it, it could activate some kind of 'hearing mode', so that 911 can listen to all that is happening to you, without you having to worry that sound comes in from their end. Also, all sounds should be disabled OS-wide when in silent emergency mode.

Btw, I live in The Netherlands, and of course I want this for 112 as well.

Emergency mode could even assist you with steps to follow/things to check, in different kinds of situations. Like a walkthrough.

So many ideas.. yet nobody does shit with the possibillities of today. Only fart apps and other bs apps, but the real innovation on things that matter? Nope.

2brun4u says:

Because having that much of surveillance is scary, I still want some privacy. And I don't want the cops to know when I'm doing 20 km/h over the speed limit.

crise says:

I just explained that you must activate it yourself, and you should be able to turn it off yourself. I bet you would like this kind of surveillance when you were laying kidnapped in the back of a truck...

Ashhar Hasan says:

I agree with crise. This is real innovation.

erzhik says:

If you would be able to activate it yourself, then FBI, NSA and anyone else interested in you would be able to remote activate it. People will not stand for this, even if it means people will be kidnapped.

tgr42 says:

They can already do that now.  They don't need any new features to do it.

IceDree says:

Can't they do that already?

radmanvr says:

About damn time. I think he had text messaging since 94 and they just now figured out how to set this up.

taymur says:

They should add WhatsApp too.
You can send your location for easy directions.

louisoneal says:

LOL!!!! Funniest article picture ever!!

DarwinPurol says:

Rollout through US only right?

sayan676 says:

22B basket street! Reminded me of 221B Baker Street :P

He won't be texting anything with no SIM card in his phone.

SteggyDad says:

Waiting for the first few dillweeds to text false alerts to 911. When tracked down that will be funny

ericr42 says:

You would think it could automatically send location data if available.

josh8_1 says:

Haha that text tho in the article pic :D I wonder who's meant by that ;)

dmojica2000 says:

Bwahahaha lol at the description

Again WPC forgets it has a global audience in its arrogant writing.

"You can now text to 911 in an emergency"

In the US.

"Deal of the Day"

In the US.


tgr42 says:

It goes both ways bro.  I'm sick of seeing headlines for stories that turn out to only apply to India.  Oh well.

Yeah but at least it's in the headline "Lumia 630 goes on sale in India" etc.

This is just the arrogant assumption that the readers will know what 911 means because they are only considering the US audience.

I'm fine with multi-national stuff and I appreciate WPC is a US site with a majority of US readers. But WPC also caters for the RoW and should caveat and headline stuff accordingly.

At least if you see a country specific article you can ignore it if you choose.

tgr42 says:

Ok, so where in the headline "Dixons and Carphone Warehouse announce merger" does it identify the story as being UK-specific?  Oh right, you just have to know those are British companies.

You can see it in the first line of the article.

zr2s10 says:

Isn't this a US based site?  Start a site in your own country if you're so upset.  A lot of US based sites don't report on anything outside of the US.  So perhaps you should appreciate that they comment on anything that's not US based? 

Yes. But it has a staff of international writers, writing about an internationally used product.

Ed Boland says:

Just have to remember; if you kidnap someone, don't forget to take away their phone.

IceDree says:

Exactly, If you forget to take the phone ... Maybe you should stick to your day job lol

Deaconclgi says:

I LOVE how there isn't a SIM in the phone to prevent sending the message by accident!!! HAHAHAHA

MethodGT says:

At least for dialing 911 there's no need for a SIM. I wonder if the same thing will be true for texting 911

WinOMG says:

Neato. Always needed this.

tlgem says:

Title is miss leading this only works in very limited areas & is different per carrier FCC

FFugue says:

I wish they would just create an app where we could be in contact instantly with someone that would have access to our location and camera at the push of a button.

IceDree says:

Lol at the photo.

b23h says:

they did change the photo, as someone pointed out the first message was a reference to Mormons...

I wonder if someone took "offense".    I really don't think it was necessary to take the other photo down.

Demitel says:

That's helpful if you locked up yourself hiding from a killer, and you don't want to make any noise to prevent the killer, all you need is to tap xD, but hassle to type your exact location xD

Sean Maloney says:

If they accept MMS messages (pictures), this could be very useful!  After sending via MMS, do pictures retain metadata, like GPS coordinates, date/time taken, etc.?

psykojello says:

Finally I might live through an emergency situation. I thought my tele-phobia would be the death of me in these situations. Seriously does no one else get panic attacks at the thought of making a phone call?

pressstart says:

Oh man, you know those punk kids that call a swat team to people's home? I can imagine some punk kids will borrow a friend's phone and text 911 as a prank.

Still, I think the pros may outweigh the potential cons.

NarcoSleepy says:

Glad that I can finally, totally rely on this emergency service.  Maybe.

Chris Yahya says:

Lol Blackberry riot!!!

Bruno H says:

But sending your position in an SMS is already built in as an attachment option...

volvoV70guy says:

Montgomery County, NYS? lol. "Help, there's a cow standing in the middle of the road!"

zr2s10 says:

They definitely need a automatic location tagging for this.  It would be very helpful for when you're lost and can't get a call through.  Would probably help cut down on douchebags thinking that can prank text 911 and get away with it.  I'm sure they could track down repeat offendors with current mthods, but location tagging would make it much easier to drag them off to a dungeon for jeopardizing other people.