ANGELINA COUNTY, Texas — The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) Regional 911 Network has announced, as of December, the Text-to-911 service is available for the 12-county region.
DETCOG says the service was tested and has gone live in the following counties:
- San Augustine
- San Jacinto
Currently you can only text-to-911 with the four major wireless carriers:
- Verizon Wireless
If you are in an area where texting service is not available to 911, you will receive a ‘bounce-back’ message telling you to make a voice call.
Text-to-911 is a service that allows citizens to send a text message directly to 911 for assistance in the event they are unable to make a voice call.
People can simply send a text as they would normally. In the recipient field, senders need to enter 911, compose the message and push send.
Once the text is sent, the 911 system will send an automated message asking the individual texting for the address of the emergency. This starts the text session between 911 and the individual needing emergency help.
It is important to remember text-to-911 services should only be used in an emergency situation when someone is unable to speak.
Examples include if the person is deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, or when speaking out loud would put the individual in danger.
Text-to-911 also provides a silent alternative in cases such as a child abduction, active shooter or domestic abuse. You need to be able to tell them your exact location and the nature of your emergency when texting 911.
Use simple language and no abbreviations or slang.
If you are able, also call 911 first. It takes longer to get all the information when communicating through text messages. If you are driving, pull over to a safe location before texting 911.