In five to ten years everyone will be able to text 9-1-1 in an emergency.
The Federal Communications Commission is working on a plan so that everyone with a cell phone will be able to reach 9-1-1 in case of an emergency. That means we’ll be able to send a text message, a video, a photo, and of course, place a call. They’re calling it "Next Generation 9-1-1" – and emergency operators will be able to determine your location from your message with accuracy. Because right now, even though half of all emergency calls are made from cell phones, operators still can’t pinpoint a person’s location from those calls without being given an address. And in all but a handful of cities, you can’t text 9-1-1 either.
The chairman of the FCC says, "It's hard to imagine that airlines can send text messages if your flight is delayed, but you still can't send a text message to 9-1-1 in an emergency." But with Next Generation 9-1-1, somebody involved in a car accident could send pictures of injuries, which EMTs could review in advance. Or if a convenience store was being robbed, citizens could send a video of the robbery in action.
So when will all this technology be in place? We’ll have to wait another 5 to 10 years.