Emergency? Just Text the Police (UK)

I love the idea of text messaging most any service or business such as the police, or even a pizza place. Talk about so much less stress for both parties. The hearing folks don’t have to put up with relay and the deaf folks don’t have to worry about being hung up on (or worse!). Plus it’s completely versatile. Need to order pizza but don’t want to wait until you get home before you do so? Text message! Armed burglar in the house and don’t want to make noise to alert him/her to your presence? Text message the police. *hint**hint* This would be useful for hearing people as well.

*Sigh* Why does the UK seem so much further along in this than we are?

The West Midlands Police said the new service will let the hard-of-hearing and speech impaired use short-message services (SMS) on wireless phones to call the police in an emergency.

We’re trying to figure out how to attach a TTY to a wireless phone to call a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP). While I think this would make it a lot more versatile than we are now (where we have to wait until we get home to call the police), it’s still not even close to where it should be.

Up until now, TTYs in the U.S. have typically used the “wired” telephone network. Now, though, TTY customers can use the machines on many wireless phones. The Federal Communications Commission mandated that all digital-wireless service providers be capable of transmitting 911 calls via TTY by June 30.

Perhaps it would be better to skip this step all together and go straight to text messages.

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