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The four major U.S. carriers will now allow customers to use a new service called text-to-911, which can help those in trouble, but for whatever reason are unable to call.
The service isn't available everywhere yet as it's only currently up and running in a few areas and only officially went live on Thursday, reports TechCrunch, so for the time being the FCC suggests people "not rely on text to reach 911."
Now if the service isn't live where you are, if you send a text you will get a bounceback message so you're not left in the dark hoping help is on the way. While the majority of the text-to-911 system isn't operational, the bounceback message has been up for almost a year.
According to The Associated Press, the service is available for Sprint customers living in Vermont. Calling will still be the preferable method of contacting emergency services, but texting the problem and your location in Vermont will get you help.
Sending your specific location is important when texting as emergency services won't be able to triangulate your location.
Digital Trends notes that the FCC believes the service should be available across the United States by the end of this year, but for the moment only some counties in states like Texas, Colorado and others are prepared at the moment.