911 expanding to include texts, photos, video

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by KING 5 News

NWCN.com

Posted on August 11, 2011 at 7:55 AM

Updated Thursday, Aug 11 at 10:14 AM

SEATTLE – King County will be one of the test locations as the federal government expands 911 to receive photos or video from callers.

The Federal Communications Commission says when 911 call centers receive images of an emergency scene, it will give them a better idea of what the problem is.

But it won’t happen soon. The FCC says it recognizes that texting is the way many people communicate, but it will likely be years before it’s a reality for all 911 calling centers.

King County already handles calls from 12 cities and unincorporated parts of the county. The dispatch center handles more than 500,000 people, so adding text messaging to the phone calls that come in is a big project.
 

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