Text-to-9-1-1 Now Operational, at Southeast Communications Center

BEATRICE – The Southeast Region Communications Center now has available Text –to- 9-1-1 service for 16-member counties in southeast Nebraska. It is available to the public, through most wireless carriers in the region.

:29                  “fully operational”

Beatrice Police Chief Bruce Lang is the head of a regional committee that’s been working on the Text-to-9-1-1 service, which began operating, Tuesday.

:06                  “not very difficult”

Text to 9-1-1 is a method of accessing emergency services but is not meant to take the place of calling 9-1-1 using standard voice calls.

:07                  “can with text”

The National Emergency Number Association Text- to- 9-1-1 campaign urges citizens to “Call if you can, Text if you can’t.”  For the hearing or speech impaired, Text-to-911 provides a more convenient method to report an emergency.

Calling 911 is still preferred. Text to 9-1-1 has some limitations including:

  • Location acquisition is much more limited.
  • There is no guarantee your Text-to-911 text has made it to an emergency dispatch center until you get a reply from the emergency operator.
  • Information can be obtained more quickly with a voice conversation.

Text-to- 9-1-1 capabilities are available now throughout the Southeast 911, 16-county region — Cass, Clay, Fillmore, Gage, Jefferson, Johnson, Lancaster, Nemaha, Nuckolls, Otoe, Pawnee, Richardson, Saline, Seward, Thayer and York counties.

The service is especially beneficial to those with hearing or speech-impairment.

Text messaging is a “best effort service” provided by cell phone service providers; meaning cell phone service providers do not guarantee a message will be or ever was delivered. Since the Federal Communications Commission hasn’t required them to guarantee the service, there is a chance that a 911-call center will not receive a text from a person having an emergency.

Voice calls to 9-1-1 remain the most efficient way to reach emergency help.

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