Iowa 911 Call Center First In US To Accept Texts: HLP ME PLZ!

Ever wonder what would happen if you texted some incomprehensible message to "911?" If you're a resident of Black Hawk Co. in Iowa, you'll probably get some attention--pronto! This week, an emergency call center in the basement of the county jail in Waterloo, Iowa became the first call center in the United States to accept and welcome emergency text messages sent to "911."

Not shockingly, call centers nationwide are now looking into what it'll take to follow suit, and it honestly, it's about time. Texting has become a mainstream form of communication these days, and thus, it makes sense that 911 centers would have the capability to receive emergency messages sent in via SMS. Indeed, we can absolutely imagine circumstances where silent texting would be even better than calling in an emergency (a robber in the house, for example). Also, the deaf and hard of hearing should benefit greatly from this advancements.

Of course, officials still urge those in an emergency to call whenever possible, but having SMS as a viable backup certainly helps. For now, only Iowans subscribed to i wireless (a local T-Mobile affiliate) will be able to take advantage, and it currently only works within Black Hawk County. In the future, text-friendly 911 centers may even be able to accept photos and videos from phones, providing even more insight into the nature of the emergency. Texting to order pizza, texting to enter contests and texting to save someone's life--what's next? Texting to vote for the 2012 Presidential elections?