Jonesboro / –TodaysTHV reports that Jonesboro Mayor Harold Perrin has announced that Arkansas is the first state to offer a text service to its 911 Emergency Center. Jeff Presley, E911 Director, has been working with members of the administration to test the system for several months. Sites in Florida and Iowa are also testing texting services at their 911 centers. Presley said that communities in the US have been using the same outdated 911 infrastructure since November, 1967. Presley pointed out that during while Hurricane Katrina was ravaging the Gulf Coast in 2005, all cell phone towers were flooded out and there was no signal to hold a voice call. The only way to communicate was via text messaging, but 911 centers were only equipped to receive voice calls. People trapped on roofs because of rising flood waters had no way to contact 911. Presley says that the local E911 Call Center is getting help from local sponsors, including Best Buy, East Arkansas Broadcasters (KIYS-FM / KFIN-FM) (Triple FM)as well as KAIT-TV to launch the 911 text system in Arkansas. The process for accessing text is to add the telephone number 870-882-0911 to a cell phone address book and save the ID as 911 TEXT.
– Thanks to World Without Hearing, December 2010, Volume 1