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. Dade City's Wild Things blocks PETA officials at gates for court-ordered site inspection

    Wildlife

    Times Staff Writer

    DADE CITY — Dade City's Wild Things founder Kathy Stearns refused to let People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials enter her facility on Thursday for a court-ordered inspection, court filings show.

    Dade City's Wild Things founder Kathy Stearns refused to let People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals officials enter her facility on Thursday for a court-ordered inspection, court filings show. This comes four days after 19 Wild Things tigers arrived at the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma. A judge had granted an emergency injunction July 14, ordering Stearns not remove any tigers pending the upcoming PETA inspection. Photo from Facebook page of the Greater Wynnewood Exotic Animal Park in Oklahoma.
  2. St. Petersburg City Council approves $326 million sewage fix

    Blogs

    ST. PETERSBURG — Last week the City Council learned no criminal charges would result from the up to 200 million gallons of sewage St. Petersburg's sewer system released from …

    [LARA CERRI  |  Times]
  3. Pasco commuters watch out: Broken water main restricts State Road 52

    Public Safety

    NEW PORT RICHEY — A water main break has caused a portion of State Road 52 — one of the busiest roads in Pasco County — to buckle on Thursday afternoon, reducing three lanes of westbound traffic to just one.

  4. Man taken into custody after live streaming drive along Clearwater Beach sand

    Public Safety

    CLEARWATER — Clearwater Police took a man into custody Thursday afternoon after, they said, he drove his car over beach chairs and umbrellas along Clearwater Beach and streamed it on Facebook.

    Clearwater Police took a suspect into custody Thursday afternoon after he drove along Clearwater Beach to Caladesi Island, running over beach chairs and umbrellas. [Courtesy of Clearwater Police]
  5. Once trapped and wounded, manatee and calf return to the wild

    Wildlife

    NEW PORT RICHEY — The small crowd readied cameras and craned their necks, peering over heads and through bodies to try and catch a glimpse. Brittany Pharel, 10, wanted to see the hulking manatees, a mother and her calf, laid out on blue tarps Thursday along the edge of the Pithlachascotee River.

    Tampa's Lowry Park Zoo's associate veterinarian Lauren Smith, 33, examines the heart rate of a manatee calf named Cottee just before it was released into the waters of the Pithlachascotee River on Thursday. 
Cottee's mother Pascow was released at the same time in New Port Richey. 
The pair became stranded in May and the mother was found wounded. They needed to be rehabilitated before they could be released into open waters. [ALESSANDRA DA PRA  |   Times]