FCC Looking To Upgrade 911 Emergency Centers To Receive Video/Photos

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News Posted: Fri, Aug 12 2011 4:35 PM
Recently, the launch of the Child ID app proved that the U.S. government wasn't scared of tapping into modern-day, consumer-friendly tech to provide a service to the American people. Now, the FCC is pushing for 911 texting

The Federal Communications Commission is envisioning a project called Next Generation 911; in addition to just sending standard SMS, it will also allow 911 teams to receive photo and video messages in order to better prepare and respond.

"It’s hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you can’t send a text message to 911 in an emergency," said FCC chairman Julius Genachowski. "The shift to NG911 can’t be about if, but about when and how."

The next step for NG911 is a big ball of red tape, involving analysis on the pros/cons, and feasibility, etc. If all that goes well, the entity would need to get the right approvals in place to upgrade the equipment for this next level of service.
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rrplay replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 12:37 PM

Sure could be a very good thing for this upgraded 911 service .especially if it can save lives ..sometimes a text message could eliminate pronunciation or location mistakes ..also a picture can immediately share a lot more info on a situation and what possible help may needed..

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omegadraco replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 12:49 PM

This is will be an awesome addition to the 911 system. The key to this is going to be for messaging applications to embrace the new systems and recognize and emergency text. The applications would need to automatically capture coordinates and photos when the message is sent. So really they would be multimedia messages. Another interesting idea once bandwidth is increased would be to create a video stream directly to the 911 operators so that they could see more than one shot and keep that opened until the 911 operator acknowledges that help arrived.

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Inspector replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 1:59 PM

This is really needed for many people. Calls aren't always the best use at most times. Plus texting is a lot easier to this generation :P lol

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The article doesn't even scratch the surface of what rolling out NG911 services will require by equipment providers, carriers, their compliance with requirement, how prioritization with existing media will work, layering of text with voice, data, video, etc. None of that even addresses how much information is TOO much information for Call Takers. Responding to a car accident, shooting, domestic disturbance is one thing. Being presented real time images of it in progress is to a certain extent like being in a war zone and eventually it will overwhelm them and potentially lead to higher turnover, morale, medical, etc issues.

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realneil replied on Sun, Aug 14 2011 8:55 PM

I think it will turn out to be a good service that will help responders do a better job.

(Imagine then saving photos and videos as evidence to get more convictions!)

Dogs are great judges of character, and if your dog doesn't like somebody being around, you shouldn't trust them.

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