Aug 5, 2:44 PM EDT
Iowa 911 call center becomes first to accept texts
By PETER SVENSSON AP Technology Writer Advertisement Buy AP Photo Reprints
An emergency call center in the basement of the county jail in Waterloo, Iowa, became the first in the country to accept text messages sent to "911," starting Wednesday.
Call centers around the country are looking at following in its footsteps, as phone calls are now just one of many things phones can do.
"I think there's a need to get out front and get this technology available," Black Hawk County police chief Thomas Jennings said.
He said 911 texting should be of particular help to the county's deaf and hard-of-hearing residents, who have had to rely on more cumbersome methods to reach 911.***** Moderator's Note *****
As a hearing-impaired cellular user, albeit one living in Massachusetts, I applaud the move: any driver who has to find his hearing aid before dialing 911 will benefit from this change.