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U.S. FCC warns that it's still better to call 911 instead of texting

Matt Hamblen | May 19, 2014
Agency lists just 59 of 6,000 emergency call centers that can take text-to-911 after May 15 deadline passes.

Even when a text-to-911 message is sent, the FCC said most emergency personnel won't automatically know the texter's location, which means the location needs to be texted as well. Before Enhanced 911 calls (E911), all 911 calls weren't automatically associated with an address as they typically are now.

Police and other emergency responders often say they appreciate 911 voice calls because it's possible to learn more information about an emergency by voice than in a short text. Still, text is seen as a way for some people with disabilities to seek help or for others when a "voice call to 911 might otherwise be dangerous or impossible," the FCC said.

"But if you are able to make a voice call to 911, and it is safe to do so, you should always make a voice call to 911," the FCC reiterated.


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