The dispatch center is providing you with access to 911 through the use of text messaging.
The Text-to-911 service option is only a choice if calling 911 is not an option. Calling 911 is the most efficient way to alert dispatchers of an emergency. With a text message, it may take longer to dispatch emergency services due to delayed time in typing and sending a text between you and the dispatcher. Calling 911 may be a quicker option as dispatchers can get a location and other pertinent information in a swift manner.
If customers are outside or near the edge of a county, the text message may not reach the Emergency Communications Center.
The texting feature should only be used in emergency situations that require an immediate response from police, fire or emergency medical services. Non-emergency issues should be communicated to the dispatch center through non-emergency lines. If the caller is hearing-impaired or speech-impaired, the texting option is a great tool. If a person has been abducted or a home invasion is occurring, texting may be an important option.
Verizon Wireless, T-Mobile, Sprint and AT&T have committed to provide the service. The FCC wants all other wireless carriers to provide text-to-911 by the end of the year.
INdigital telecom of Fort Wayne designed and built the IN911 network for the State 911 Board which provides service to 911 agencies throughout the state.
For more information, visit www.in911.net.