Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Q&A: Why we can't text 9-1-1

Why we can't text 9-1-1

After hearing about a college student who was carjacked and called 9-1-1 from the trunk of his car, I got to thinking, can you text 9-1-1 when you are afraid of being heard by the perpetrator?

The only place in the United States accepting 9-1-1 texts is Blackhawk, Iowa, which began doing so in August 2009. A couple of places are accepting texts to their 10-digit lines, but that is not a true 9-1-1 solution, said Courtney McCarron Hastings, spokeswoman for the Association of Public-Safety Communications Officials International.

The reason people cannot text 9-1-1 is because the technology supporting the 9-1-1 system is based on voice transmission, she said. Also, the call center (called the public safety answering point) accepting the data could not receive the information usually associated with 9-1-1 calls, such as the location and call-back number, that is crucial for response.

As demonstrated by Blackhawk, Iowa, solutions exist to make 9-1-1 texting a reality, but this would require new equipment for public safety answering points, which struggle to obtain funding for the upgrades the system needs to protect the public, McCarron Hastings said.

She added that text transmissions are not as reliable as voice calls, and voice calls are still the most reliable way to ensure a message is delivered.

AED use okay with pacemaker

I read an article about basketball teammates resuscitating a 49-year-old man who collapsed during a recreational league game and it made me think, can you use the automated external defibrillator on someone with a pacemaker?

AEDs (automated external defibrillators) are safe and should be used even if a victim of sudden cardiac arrest has a pacemaker, experts say.

Be careful not to place the AED pads over the pacemaker, which can be seen as a lump under the skin. The AED will analyze the heart rhythm, and if a shock is indicated, it can be safely delivered even when the victim has a pacemaker. If the victim is successfully resuscitated, the person should have the pacemaker rechecked.

Brett Favre first grandpa in NFL

I read that Brittany Favre gave birth, making Brett Favre a grandfather. My question is: Is Brett Favre the first active player ever to become a grandfather? What about in baseball, where Satchel Paige and others played into their 50s?

To the NFL's knowledge, Favre is the first active player to become a grandfather. It is more common in baseball because so many players remain in the sport into their 40s. One example: the St. Louis Cardinals' Stan Musial, who became a grandfather in September 1963 at age 42, during his final season. In his first at-bat after his grandchild was born, Musial hit a home run.

Q&A: Why we can't text 9-1-1 05/24/10 [Last modified: Monday, May 24, 2010 2:55pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Homeland security chief defends Kushner's alleged proposal for 'back channel' to the Russians as 'a good thing"

    National

    Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly, the lone administration official to speak out publicly about reports that Jared Kushner sought a back channel to communicate with the Russian government, defended the move, saying it was a "good thing" for the U.S. government.

    Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, listens during a meeting with small business leaders at the White House on Jan. 30. [Washington Post photo by Jabin Botsford]
  2. After hard charging on health care in 2016, Marco Rubio is slow, careful

    Blogs

    As a presidential candidate, Marco Rubio pitched an Obamacare replacement and tore into Donald Trump for not having one. "What is your plan? What is your plan on health care? You don't have a plan," the Florida senator aggressively challenged in a February 2016 debate.

  3. Report: Florida counties part of liver disease cluster

    Research

    STUART — Four counties along Florida's Treasure Coast make up a cluster with high rates of both deaths from liver disease and algae blooms.

  4. Authorities say cocaine is making comeback in Florida

    Crime

    FORT LAUDERDALE — Drug enforcement officials say traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade.

    Traffickers are bringing more cocaine into South Florida than at any time in the past decade, officials say.  [Times files]
  5. Amid escalating Russia crisis, Trump considers major staff changes

    National

    President Donald Trump and his advisers, seeking to contain the escalating Russia crisis that threatens to consume his presidency, are considering a retooling of his senior staff and the creation of a "war room" within the White House, according to several aides and outside Trump allies.

    President Donald Trump is reportedly considering a retooling of his senior staff. [Doug Mills/The New York Times]