Mobile Future

Hawkeye 911

Kudos to
Iowa for
becoming the first state with a program allowing emergency callers to ask for
help via text messages.  Earlier this month, the emergency center in Waterloo became the
nation’s first to coordinate 911 responses with
texters.

According to an
article in USA Today
, enabling 911 systems to accept text messages could help hearing-impaired
callers and younger generations, many of whom assume the service already
exists.  It could also help in areas where the signal isn’t strong enough to
sustain a call – for example, if you’re in a
cellar.

The Waterloo development is
just the latest in a long progression of police and first responders increasing
their use of text messages.  As we mentioned in April, the
Franklin (Tenn.) Police Department became the first in
the nation to accept anonymous texts as part of its Crime Stoppers program.  And
police departments from Boston to Cincinnati have been
accepting texts since 2007
.

The trend is
clear and so are the results: Wireless is increasingly a major benefit for
police and other first responders.