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Update emergency call centers to help save lives

This petition had 58,166 supporters

Your closest emergency call center may not support text messages to 911 and it could cost a life. Join us in getting emergency call centers to accept 911 texts.

Calling 911 is not always an option. Imagine being in a situation, such as a domestic altercation or home intrusion, where a call to 911 could increase the chance of yourself or a loved one getting harmed. There are also people who are physically unable to speak or hear who can’t just call 911. Having the ability to alert and communicate with an emergency call center through text could mean the difference between life or death.

The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) recognizes the critical role texting could play in saving lives and requires all wireless carriers to support 911 texting. Unfortunately, less than 5% of emergency call centers nationwide can accept and respond to these 911 text messages. Local municipalities are slow to adopt the technology despite over 70% of 911 calls coming from cell phones. Our emergency call centers need to keep up with technology.

We are calling on Congress to pass legislation mandating that all emergency call centers update their systems to receive and respond to 911 texts. It’s the right thing to do and will save lives.

It is a dangerous gap for people to have phones that can text 911 and emergency call centers that cannot receive them. People are learning their cell phones are equipped to text 911, but have no idea in most places those emergency texts will not be received. A text for help could be going unanswered. This must change.

As with many new innovations, there is a need for leadership to show the benefits of its implementation. Congress must act to get this technology integrated into all emergency call centers across the country. When medical or law enforcement assistance is needed, seconds can count. The longer Congress waits to act, the greater the missed opportunity to save lives.

Please sign and share the petition to get Congress to pass legislation requiring that all emergency call centers update their systems to receive and respond to 911 texts.

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