According to Lieutenant Edward Tjaden, “Text to 911 is scheduled to be implemented in Box Butte County on May 1, 2017. The text to 911 system is designed for deaf, hard of hearing, and speech impaired citizens. In addition, if a person needs to contact 911 and by making a voice call his/her life might be endangered, texting would be a positive option.”
“Since location of the caller information will be unreliable in most cases, calling 911 direct remains the fastest and most efficient way to request emergency assistance.”
“Text to 911 calls will be handled similarly to wireless 911 calls and TTY 911 calls. They will be received through the 911 system but without reliable location information. Because of the lack of address information, the priority will be to determine the caller’s exact location. Without the location, police and/or fire services cannot be sent.”
“If it is determined that the caller is not within Box Butte County, it will be possible to transfer the call to the correct jurisdiction. At this point the individual will be instructed to call 911 so they can be transferred to the correct 911 center.”
“When a dispatcher disconnects the call, an automatic message will be sent advising the caller (texter) they have been disconnected and to either call 911 by voice or initiate a new text message if they need additional assistance.”
“This service is not currently supported by all cell phone carriers or other 911 centers in the region. Current availability of companies participating in our area are Verizon and Viaero. If you attempt a text to 911 and it is NOT supported, you will receive a message advising that you must make a voice call to 911. Currently our text capabilities are limited to the English language only.”
Hints: Limit the use of abbreviations to ensure your message is understood, and review your message for accuracy before you hit the send button; auto-correct can distort messages.