Lincoln Journal Star
By ZACH PLUHACEK
November 08, 2014
LINCOLN, Nebraska — He always thought they were saying "lots of love." It turns out, all those people who text messaged "LOL" to Mark Conroy were just laughing at him.
Conroy's confusion about the acronym for "laugh out loud" is among a whole list of concerns he'll need to address come December, when people in the Omaha and Kearney areas will be able to start texting 911 to report emergencies, the Lincoln Journal Star (http://bit.ly/1p8uik8 ) reported.
Text-to-911 service should go live around Omaha on Dec. 15, says Conroy, director of Douglas County's 911 center. In Buffalo County, Sheriff Neil Miller expects the Kearney area's system to be ready soon after.
Lincoln will have to wait.
"We don't want your text message," said Tom Casady, the city's public safety director. "We can't handle it."
Lincoln and more than a dozen counties in Southeast Nebraska are in the process of replacing their individual 911 systems with a single hub that would route callers to their local 911 centers. The switch will take time and could initially cost upward of $1 million to $2 million, although it is intended to save money in the long run.
And while the new equipment should make enabling text-to-911 easier for Lincoln and its neighbors, Casady says he's in no rush to adopt technology that is "not quite ready for primetime yet."
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05/19/2014 05:01 PM
FREDERICK, Md. - Frederick County, Maryland is the sixth county in the country to implement 911 texting through Verizon, according to local emergency officials. They say they pushed to become one of the first last year and now the four major wireless carriers in the Country made the feature available.
“The Maryland School for the Deaf is located in Fredrick. We have a large population of deaf and hearing impaired so we've felt everyone needs access to 911, so we've been very proactive and been pushing to be a leader in texting 911 to allow everyone that direct access to 911,” said Chip Jewell, director of Frederick County emergency communications.
The Federal Communications Commission said they hope to expand the program once it’s been tested in places like Frederick County. Chip Jewell said he believes the texting systems should be available on all four major wireless carriers by the end of next year.
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Fairfax County Offers Three CERT Classes Offered This Fall
When emergencies happen, Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members can give critical support to first responders, provide immediate assistance to victims, and organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site. CERT members can also help with non-emergency projects that help improve the preparedness and safety of the community.Fairfax County is offering three CERT basic training classes this fall.
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