Texting 911 – the way of the future? - Toledo News Now, Breaking News, Weather, Sports, Toledo

Texting 911 – the way of the future?

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WOOD COUNTY, OH (Toledo News Now) -

Texting 911 during emergencies could become a reality soon. Currently, two sheriff's offices in our area – Ottawa and Wood counties – have the technology to make it happen.

The problem is the cell phone industry. They haven't figured out a standardized format for how the texts would be presented or routed to dispatchers. Until that happens, texting 911 isn't possible.

Wood County Sheriff Mark Wasylyshyn says to think of it like a business card.

"How much space, and where are you going to put the actual information for the text message? Where is that going to be?" he asked.

The other problem to sort out is where the text would actually go. What happens if the sender is traveling and crosses county lines?

"When this text message comes through, it's gotta go back to that same operator, otherwise…you may be getting, every time you send a text message, a different operator," the sheriff said.

While there are still many unanswered questions, people seem to like the idea of being able to text for help.

"Young kids today don't necessarily dial to talk to people," said Debbie Mills. "They're a lot faster with the text. The whole conversation could be a lot faster if you use a text rather than dial and speak to someone."

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