WATCH: Emergency Text-To-9-1-1 Option Now Available in Brevard County
By Don Walker // July 27, 2018
AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon cellular phone customers in Brevard now have option to Text to 9-1-1
ABOVE VIDEO: AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon cellular phone customers in Brevard County now have the option to Text to 9-1-1 in an emergency following technological upgrades at the county’s 11 Public Safety Answering Points that receive 9-1-1 emergency calls.
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon cellular phone customers in Brevard County now have the option to Text to 9-1-1 in an emergency following technological upgrades at the county’s 11 Public Safety Answering Points that receive 9-1-1 emergency calls.
Customers of the four major wireless carriers can now send a text (up to 140 characters) directly to 9-1-1 in an emergency in which a call is not possible, or when speaking out loud would put the caller in danger. Also, Text-to-9-1-1 provides the deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired residents with direct access to 9-1-1 Service.
“Having the capability of Text-to-9-1-1 provides invaluable safety and protection for more Brevard County residents and enhances the ability for someone in danger or distress to reach out for help to first responders in an emergency situation where they can’t place a phone call to 9-1-1,” said Brevard County 9-1-1 Systems Manager Deborah Sands.
Calls or Texts to 9-1-1 are received at various Public Safety Answering Points, municipal police departments, county law enforcement and county fire rescue, that alert the appropriate rescue agency for response throughout the county.
9-1-1 Administration is a division of Brevard County Emergency Management, which implemented the technology upgrade enabling this advancement. Text-to-9-1-1 was funded through a 40-cent fee paid by customers on their wireless carrier phone bills.
“This broadens the scope of 9-1-1 and its value in a specific range of emergency situations,” said Brevard County Emergency Management Director Kimberly Prosser.
“It’s not intended for general, regular use, as calling 9-1-1 is – nine out of 10 times – your best option in an emergency. But this does allow us to provide better service to the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and also assists people in situations where silence is necessary.”
While Text-to-9-1-1 is available, texting should only be used when a person is unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1.
For any 9-1-1 emergency, Call if you can; Text if you can’t.
To text 9-1-1 in an emergency:
- Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field
- The first text message to 9-1-1 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.
- Do not send pictures, emoji’s or video
- Do not send group text
- Voice calls to 9-1-1 are still the best and fastest way to contact 9-1-1
NEVER TEXT and DRIVE! Please pull over to a safe location and stop your car before sending a text to 9-1-1.
- A text or data plan is necessary to place a Text-to-9-1-1.
- Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if your phone is roaming.
- As with all text messages, texts to 9-1-1 may take longer to receive, get out of order, or not be received at all; if you do not receive a text response from 9-1-1, try to contact 9-1-1 another way.
- You will get a “bounce back” message if you are in an area where the service is not available telling you to make a voice call.
Do NOT Abuse 9-1-1 – Text-to-9-1-1 service is ONLY for emergencies:
- It is a crime to text or call 9-1-1 with a false report.
- Prank-texters can be located.
Text-to-9-1-1 service is not available everywhere in Florida or the U.S.
CLICK HERE FOR BREVARD COUNTY NEWS