Coweta News

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Text to 911 Reminder

Post Date:01/12/2016


“A text to 911 for help – from a deaf woman who spotted two small children in a car. Lisa Collis texted on New Year’s Eve from a parking lot in the North Point area of Alpharetta, when she saw two small children alone in a parked car. Luckily for all, since Collis is deaf and this is Alpharetta, she was able to report what she saw by texting 911….”

Well, you can do the same here in Coweta County and have been able to do so since September 2015.

Coweta County E-911 instituted the enhancement September 1. 2015. It is available to wireless customers of Verizon, Sprint, AT&T and T-Mobile when within range of a cell tower located inside Coweta County.

Text-to-911 was not developed as a replacement to a voice call to 911 in an emergency situation, but rather as an enhancement to reach 911 services in three specific situations:

1) The caller is hearing/voice impaired,
2) A medical emergency renders the person incapable of speech, or
3) When speaking out loud would put the caller in danger, such as a home invasion, a domestic violence incident, or an active shooter scenario.

Customers should use the texting option only when calling 911 is not an option.

Using a phone to call 911 is still the most efficient way to reach emergency help. Texting is not always instantaneous, which is critical during a life-threatening emergency. It may take slightly longer to dispatch emergency services in a text-to-911 situation because of the time involved: Someone must enter the text; the message must go over the network and the 911 telecommunicator must read the text and then text back.

Providing location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative, since the [PSAP] will initially only receive the location of the cell phone tower closest to the call’s origin.

Text abbreviations, emoticons or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible.

Remember: Call if you can, text if you can’t. You are covered in Coweta

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