Douglas County unveils text to 911 service
Residents who need to call for help quickly and quietly may now text 911, Douglas County officials announced on Wednesday.
Douglas County 911 Emergency Services representing the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office and fire agencies in Douglas and Alpine County said Text-to-911 service is available countywide.
The service also will serve those who are deaf or hard of hearing and can’t hear a voice on the phone.
Examples include reporting crimes in progress, or where the caller is facing domestic abuse, the caller is injured and cannot speak, or other scenarios.
Dispatchers asked that even when texting 911 is possible, residents should call when they can and text if they can’t.
Hard of hearing or deaf residents should use a TTY or telecommunications relay service, if available.
If texting 911 is not available for whatever reason, callers will receive a bounce back message advising “text is not available please make a voice call to 911.”
Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon. Be prepared to give your location.
Text-to-911 service is not available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.
Text-to-911 is not available for callers who are roaming and requires a text or data plan.
Emojis and popular abbreviations won’t translate to the 911 system, so messages need to be in plain language.
Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain popular abbreviations (SMH, LOL, ICYMI) or emojis, which will not be recognized.
Text-to-911 cannot be sent to more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 911.
Texts must be in English because there currently is no language interpretation for text available. This is still in development.