NEBRASKA CITY – The Southeast Region 911 is announcing the availability of Text-to-911 service for 16 counties in southeast Nebraska.
Text-to-911 can be important in an emergency, especially for people who are unable to talk with a phone call or in situations where it is not safe for people to talk.
Text-to-911 is not meant to replace phone calls, however.
Steve Cody of Otoe County Emergency Management said texting has limitations:
- The 911 dispatcher may be able to determine the location of an emergency caller, but information about location is limited when a text is used.
- There is no guarantee your Text-to-911 text has made it to an emergency dispatch center until you receive a reply from the emergency operator.
- Information can be obtained more quickly with a voice conversation than via text.
The Federal Communications Commission’s website says “Call if you can, Text if you can’t”
Text-to-911 is now available for deaf and speech impaired people in Cass, Clay, Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, Seward, Thayer and York counties.
How do I Text to 911?
- Remember: “Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t.”
- Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field.
- The first text message to 911 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed.
- Push the send button.
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
- Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
- Keep text messages brief and concise.
- Once you have initiated a Text- to- 911 conversation, do not turn off your phone until the dispatcher tells you it is ok to do so.