Emergency call centers to accept texts by 2014

WASHINGTON – People may be able to text their emergencies to 911 in the next few years.

There are situations where calling 911 can put the caller in danger. The Federal Communications Commission says the nation’s four largest wireless carriers, inculding AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, will relay text messages to text- enabled 911 call centers by May 2014.

Under this plan texters will get an answer if their call center receives texts or not. It it can’t, you’ll get an automated response telling you to call instead.

Only a handful of call centers can get texts right now.

It’s unclear how many of the call centers will be able to get text messages in two years, but texters will get an answer whether their call center is able to get texts or not. If the center cannot receive texts, texters will get an automated response telling them to call the center instead.

WTOP’s Veronica Robinson contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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