Dearborn Co. Introduces Text To 911

Posted On July 08, 2014

By Mike Perleberg

911-cell-phone-graphic.jpg(Dearborn County, Ind.) – If you experience an emergency in Dearborn County, you can now reach 911 by sending a text message from your cell phone.

Dearborn County 911 Director Charlie Ashley announced Monday that the county has started offering Text to 911 service. Many other counties across the state – including Franklin, Ohio, and Switzerland – have also implemented Text to 911 ability this year.

Text to 911 service is provided by Verizon Wireless in Indiana. Sprint, AT&T, and T-Mobile should all be added by the end of the year, if not sooner.

There are a couple key tips citizens should keep in mind:

  • Cell phone users should only utilize the text method when making an actual phone call to 911 is not an option, such as for deaf or hearing-impaired individuals. It might also be handy for another situation in which a person cannot speak to a dispatcher, for example, during an abduction or while hiding during a home invasion.
  • It is important that the first 911 message include the location and nature of the emergency. 911 communications centers will automatically receive only a approximate location of the cell phone.
  • Text abbreviations or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible.
  • A cell phone must be in range of a cell tower in order for the messages to be received or sent.
  • Text messages to 911 have the same 160-character limit as other texts.
  • No pictures, video, or other attachments should be included in a message to 911.

More information on Text to 911 can be found online at www.in911.net, www.textty.com, or by calling Dearborn County Communications at (812) 537-3431.


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