Emergency Texts | How to Determine if you Should use Texting in Emergencies
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Text to 911
Hillsdale County Central Dispatch is now capable of receiving emergency Texts-to-911 when citizens are unable or it is unsafe to make a 911 voice call.
Text-to-911 is intended for use in emergency situations:
• For an individual who is speech or hearing impaired.
• For a person who cannot call 911 because they cannot speak.
• In the event of an active crime such as a home invasion or active shooter situations where
speaking might give away the location of a person hiding.
• In other serious situations where it might not be safe to make a voice call.
When determining whether to make a voice call or send a text keep the following in mind:
• Callers should only text 911 when calling is not an option.
• For the Cellular phone companies, texting is a lower priority service than voice calls which
means it may take longer for your text to reach 911 or your messages may not arrive in the
order they were sent. Either of these can delay the dispatch of emergency services.
• Providing location information and the nature of the emergency in the first text message is
imperative to getting the proper help sent to the correct location as soon as possible.
• Avoid text abbreviations or slang so that the intent of the message can be as clear as possible.
• Those who use the system must have a cell phone that is activated and capable of sending text
messages in order to reach 9-1-1 via text.
• Texts will sometimes go through when voice calls will not.
• Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 Dispatcher.
• Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
• Keep text messages brief and concise.
• Photos and videos cannot be sent to 911 at this time.
• You cannot text to 911 through “Wi-Fi” calling.
If any component of Text-to-911 is not operational, subscribers attempting a Text-to-911 will receive a bounce back message from their phone company saying: “Texting to 9-1-1 is not available. A voice call should be utilized.”
Citizens should also remember that texting while driving is not safe.