Amid a nationwide push to bring emergency services into the modern day, Maryland is rolling out a system that allows people experiencing an emergency to text 911. The District launched the service last summer and a number of jurisdictions in Virginia have also enabled the option, including Arlington, Fairfax, and Loudoun counties. It is a move toward accessibility, especially for people with speech or hearing disabilities, but some wonder why 911 services are just catching up to the 21st century. After all, if Uber drivers and GrubHub delivery guys can find us seamlessly, why don’t 911 operators know where we are? We discuss texting, technology, and the future of 911 services.


  • Kelby Brick Director, Governor's Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing
  • Jack Markey Director of Emergency Management, Frederick County

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