Text 911? What to Know About the New Technology

Text-to-911 is being implemented across the country.

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What You Need to Know About Text-to-911 - In some emergencies, it might be better to text for help. Now, the FCC has taken the big step to add text-to-911 as an option to contact emergency help centers across the country. Take a look at what to know about the updated technology. —Natelege Whaley  (Photo: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Four Major Providers Offer 911 Texts - Four major providers ? Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T ? now offer text-to-911 service in areas where a 911 call center is prepared to receive texts.    (Photos: Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T)

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Four Major Providers Offer 911 Texts - Four major providers — Sprint, Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile and AT&T — now offer text-to-911 service in areas where a 911 call center is prepared to receive texts.  (Photos: Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, AT&T)

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What States Have It? - Currently local governments in 16 states are using the service to report emergencies. Vermont is the first state to offer it widely Monday. Black Hawk County, Iowa, was the first local area to use text-to-911 in June 2009.  (Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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Why There Is a Push for Text-to-911 - Ninety percent of American adults use a cellphone, according to Pew Internet Project as of 2014. Of those who have one, 81 percent send or receive text messages. (Photo: AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)

Advancement Is Overdue - Since most Americans with cellphones use text messaging, it makes sense to provide it as an option to reach emergency responders. "It's been a long time ? years, decades ? since our nation's 911 systems have been advanced," Brian Fontes, the CEO of the National Emergency Number Association said to Associated Press. "They are pretty much still almost 100 percent voice-centric, 1960s technology.?   (Photo: AP Photo/Toby Talbot, file)

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Advancement Is Overdue - Since most Americans with cellphones use text messaging, it makes sense to provide it as an option to reach emergency responders. "It's been a long time — years, decades — since our nation's 911 systems have been advanced," Brian Fontes, the CEO of the National Emergency Number Association said to Associated Press. "They are pretty much still almost 100 percent voice-centric, 1960s technology.” (Photo: AP Photo/Toby Talbot, file)

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Always Use a Voice Call First - The FCC says to always contact 911 by voice call first. If you are deaf, hearing impaired or have a speech disability, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service. Texts are encouraged if it is the only safe option. (Photo: Sharie Kennedy/LWA/Corbis)

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All Providers Expected to Have the Option - As more service providers work to accept 911 texts, consumers will receive a bounce-back message when they text the number through providers that don't have it set up as of yet. The FCC says all providers are required to offer it by the end of the year. (Photo: Gallo Images - Anthony Strack/Getty Images)

Photo By Photo: Gallo Images/Anthony Strack/Getty Images