Text to 911 Now Available in Abilene (Press Release)

by Public Information Officer, Friday, November 14, 2014, 15:48 (1125 days ago)

Text to 9-1-1 Now Available In Abilene

ABILENE, TX – Thanks to the Abilene/Taylor County 9-1-1 District, the City of Abilene Police Communication Division, 9-1-1, has “Text to 9-1-1,” an option for AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon customers who need to contact 9-1-1. Customers with those carriers in Abilene can now send a short message service (SMS) text message to 9-1-1 for emergency help when they are unable to make a 9-1-1 voice call.

Text to 9-1-1 is intended primarily for use in two emergency scenarios: for an individual who is deaf or hard of hearing; and for a person who is unable to make a voice call, for example during a medical emergency that renders the person incapable of speech, or in the instance of a home invasion or abduction where the caller could be endangered by using a voice call.

• Customers should use the texting option only when calling 9-1-1 is not an option.
• Using a phone to call 9-1-1 is still the most efficient way to reach emergency help. Texting is not always instantaneous, which is critical during a life-threatening emergency.
• Providing location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative, since the Communications Center will receive only an approximate location of the cell phone, and will not be able to speak with the person sending the text. Text abbreviations or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible.
• Customers within range of a cell tower within the city limits of Abilene should be routed to Abilene 911, those within range of one in Taylor County should be routed to Taylor County 911.
• Texts sent to 9-1-1 have the same 160-character limit as other text messages.
• The texting function should only be used for emergency situations that require an immediate response from police, fire or emergency medical services.
• Text messages should only be used to communicate between 911 Center and the sender. Pictures, video, other attachments or including other recipients are not able to be accommodated.
• User should first enter “911” in the To: area, User should then enter the address or location of the emergency and brief description in the texting area. Then hit send. Location first is vital.

Call if you can – Text if you can’t…


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