Dearborn Co. Introduces Text To 911
By Mike Perleberg
(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.