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Garrett 911 Adds Text Ability

February 16th, 2020 by WCBC Radio

On February 13, 2020, the Garret County Department of Public Safety Communications 911 Center has implemented the ability to Text-to-911 during an emergency. Text-to-911 service will be available for those individuals who cannot safely make a voice call to 911 in an emergency. This will be a valuable service to the deaf and hard of hearing community.

Testing for Text-to-911 has been completed and is available with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Cellular. Text-to-911 may not be available outside of Garrett County. If a text is made to 911 where that service is not available, a message will be sent back to the phone advising the customer to make a voice call.
Some situations when Text-to-911 is appropriate:

Deaf, hard of hearing callers, or individuals with speech disability.

Be prepared to answer any questions that the 9-1-1 telecommunicator texts back.

Use plain language; do not use abbreviations, symbols, emoticons, or photos.

Messages should be brief and concise.

Texting 911 can be done by typing “911” in the field for a phone number. No other numbers need to be used. Texting should be done through your wireless phones text messaging service and not from a third-party testing application. Text-to-911 does require an active telephone service plan with data or it will not work.

Remember the best way to contact 911 is by making a voice call. Please utilize this service in emergency circumstances where a voice call is not possible or safe.

The Garrett County Department of Public Safety 911 Center is excited to offer the Text-to-911 service to the citizens of Garrett county.

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