FCC commissioners will consider taking action this year to help the agency establish rules that will encourage the deployment of next-generation 911 (NG-911) services as quickly as possible, FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski is expected to say during a speech at tonight’s 911 Honors Gala.

A former emergency medical technician, Genachowski will reference the significant technological advances in communications since he worked as an EMT — and the fact that current 911 systems are not able to accept text, photo and video information that have become commonplace in the consumer arena.

“Five years ago, if I’d told people you can’t text 911 or send pictures to 911, they would have said, ‘So what?’” according to an excerpt of Genachowski’s prepared speech. “Today, I tell people you can’t do these things, and they think I must be joking. How could that be? But that’s the sad truth. There’s a gap between what ordinary people do with technology, and the capabilities of our emergency response network.

“That gap is unacceptable. That gap cost lives.”

FCC spokesman Rob Kenny said the FCC expects to consider a rulemaking regarding NG-911 during the latter portion of this year, possibly as early as the fall.