PLZ HELP: Emergency Texting To 911 Available By 2014

December 10, 2012


Because nobody likes talking on the phone, the four largest cell phone carriers have agreed to make texting to 911 available by May 15th, 2014. Not gonna lie, I already thought they accepted texts and were just ignoring me. 'SEND AMBULANCE, HOT SAUCE TOO SPICY.'

"Access to 911 must catch up with how consumers communicate in the 21st century -- and today, we are one step closer towards that vital goal" said FCC chairman Julius Genachowsk.

Once the carriers are set up, local emergency response centers will still need the proper equipment, software and training, so the feature won't be available instantly. However, eventually the carriers and FCC hope to provide 90% of the population with text-to-911 features. The service will not support third-party texting apps or roaming users.

In the meantime, the carriers will implement a much-needed alert message warning anyone who sends a text to 911 that their message was not received, and that they should make a phone call instead. That auto-reply system will be up and running by June 30, 2013.

No word if 911 operators will have to take classes in text-speak to understand what the hell people are trying to say, but based on the idiotic text messages I get from my friends I imagine it's probably a good idea.

911: Room?
911: Please stay calm, what's your address?
GW: 1410 Mockingbird Drive
911: We just dispatched a unit.
GW: But I'm at a friend's place right now
911: And what's the address there?
GW: *cat picture*

That's how I'm gonna die, I'm calling it. No -- texting it. ZING! "No zing." Zero zings, got it.

Thanks to key11 and Denise, who call for help the old fashioned way: HELP! ANYBODY, HELP! CAN ANYBODY HEAR ME? HEEEEEEEEELP!

  • The image cracked me up. Worth reading the article just for the "text".

  • 911: Help! There was an accident with collectable weaponry, please send someone. oh, below is an emoticon of the situation.

    (x___x ) / <(" I just wanted to chop food like a boss.")
    ( <====||xxxxxo

  • Jadis

    Really it's about time. Seriously, how do you make a quiet phone call? Tap Morris Code on the speaker and hope the 911 lady understands it?

  • Joey Svitek

    It's Morse code, moron.

  • Jadis

    oh get off the spelling bee bus and get a life. You knew what I was talking about. At least I didn't type it all out in L33T speak or text short hand.

  • haha ... love the Amberlamps reference!!!


  • Cortney A.

    This kinda reminds me of when I heard about a month ago that if you're being held at gunpoint at the ATM you can input your pin number backwards and it will alert the police while still letting you withdraw money as to not raise suspicion.

  • luxlucetintenebris

    I actually tried that the other day, it just said 'invalid pin'. Doesn't work.

  • Emily
  • Joel Lamm

    the real crime is that you are texting with a Sidekick

  • Hayley Prychun Rodgers

    I think this is great. Imagine you're hiding while someone ransacks your house, easier to text quietly then talk quietly.

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