The Willistonian, Est. 1881

FCC Rolls Out New Text-to-911 Feature

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FCC Rolls Out New Text-to-911 Feature

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Credit: Wikipedia

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Thanks to a new system developed by the federal government, a cry for help can now be silent.

In 2014, the four biggest American wireless network service providers (AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon) , in conjunction with the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO), agreed to provide 911 call centers with a text reception option.

The reason for a texting option is to offer an alternative to people who are not incapable of talking, whether it be because of the situation or because of a physical restriction.

On December 14th 2018, the Text-to-911 operation was activated in the state of Massachusetts. This project took time to develop, but is starting to gain national attention in the attempt to sensitize residents.

Because of its discrete arrival, many are unaware of the steps to follow if in a situation where voice calling is not an option.

“I had no idea that this was even a thing, let alone a nationwide operation” admitted Jack Purcell, a senior from Chicago, Illinois.

Illinois, where Jack lives, was one of the first state to implement the system, in May of 2014.

Here’s how the next Text-to-911 feature works: If you require a police vehicle, press 1. For a firetruck, press 2. For an ambulance, press 3.

If the police need to ask you questions, they would only inquire about questions where you can answer with a yes or a no. To answer yes, press 4. To answer no, press 5.

This option, although we hope no one has to use it, reassures students at Williston, knowing that it is a second option in case of emergency.

“I defintely think it doesn’t hurt anyone to have this added service for residents of Massachusetts.” said Senior Solomon Neuhaus. “I think you can never be too safe and it’s good to raise the awareness for students.”

For more information on Text-to-911, visit: https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/what-you-need-know-about-text-911

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Thomas Thibault '19, Managing Editor

Thomas Thibault is a senior from Quebec City in the province of Quebec, Canada. He is on the Football team and Lacrosse team

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FCC Rolls Out New Text-to-911 Feature