Emergency, Txt 911: Next Generation 911

Posted on August 12, 2011

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HALEY NELSON

New technology is a large part of our world and serves a lot of purposes– from saving lives to connecting us via social networking. Now, a technology most of us use everyday may save lives in an unconventional way.

Soon people may be able to get in touch with emergency services via text and mms.

911 dispatchers will soon be accepting text messages, videos, and photos that will also provide automatic location information.

FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski announced a five-step plan Wednesday to modernize the emergency response system.

The plan, Next Generation 911 (NG911), is an attempt to get responders to an emergency scene faster and also give individuals more options to contact 911, depending on the situation.

Genachowski developed NG911 last year after being unnerved by the fact that endangered students could not text 911 during the 2007 Virginia Tech shootings.

The modernization of 911 is an attempt to connect to a younger demographic of Americans, according to Genachowski.

The next step for the FCC is to develop accurate location mechanisms, educate consumers on the new process, and complete and fund the project.

There will likely be kinks in the system at the beginning, but ultimately it will expand emergency services to people in a number of situations.

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