Text to 911 becomes a reality in more places - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Text to 911 becomes a reality in more places

THOMASVILLE, GA (WALB) -

Would you text 911 if you had that option? It is now available in some parts of the country.

In order to get emergency vehicles rolling in some U.S. cities, it now only takes a quick text to 911. Willie Roberts say it's a sign of the times.

"Technology is moving forward. I mean the rest of the world should keep up with it. I text a lot, a lot more than I talk on the phone," said Roberts.

Text to 911 became available in select markets Thursday. As the name implies, it allows those in need of emergency assistance to text first responders rather than calling. But the option is only advised if the person can absolutely not make a call to 911.

Teenager Carson Allen says he prefers texting over calling anyway, and he can envision situations when it would be useful.

"[You] couldn't really call 911 if there was something wrong like a shooter in school. They would probably hear you," said Allen. "And it probably wouldn't end to well but if you could send a text it would probably work out a lot better."

But there are drawbacks. 911 texts must include the person's full name, location, and a description of the crime scene- information that could take quite a bit of time during an emergency.

The idea of Text to 911 been discussed in Thomas County, but leaders worry it could keep emergency workers from asking quick sometimes life saving questions.

Copyright 2014 WALB.  All rights reserved.

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