The New River Valley Emergency Communication Authority (NRV911) has successfully implemented Text-to-911 technology for individuals to report emergencies who cannot safely call 9-1-1 in a dangerous situation, or for those who are deaf, hearing impaired, or have a speech impediment.
“NRV911 is excited to offer Text-to-911 as an additional layer of service to our community as we are constantly striving to provide exceptional service to the public,” said NRV911 Interim Director, Bradley St. Clair.
“Offering Text-to-911 will help ensure individuals who may not be able to contact 911 through traditional means are provided an option in the form of text messaging,” St. Clair said. “Please keep in mind calling 911 is still the best option for quick response; however, should you have a situation where calling places you in danger, or clear communication cannot be achieved via voice calling, you now have the option to text 911 for help.”
In instances where making a traditional voice call to 911 is not ideal or available, cellular callers using either the Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, U S Cellular, or T-Mobile networks are now able to send emergency text messages to NRV911 call takers.
Text-to-911 does not replace calling 9-1-1, and is intended for callers who are hearing or voice impaired; medical emergencies that render callers incapable of talking; when speaking aloud could put the caller in danger such as an abduction, a home invasion robbery, or a domestic violence situation.
To useText-to-911 in an emergency provide the exact location of the emergency as 911 cannot always determine your location; describe what type of help is needed (police, fire, rescue) keep text messages brief and concise; use simple words not abbreviations; be prepared to answer follow-up questions from the 911 call taker; do not send emoji’s, photos, or videos; silence your phone if you don’t want to be heard; do not text and drive.
Please remember texting 911 will take longer as the 911 call taker must read the text and prepare a response. As with normal texting, 911 texts can be delayed and thus NRV911 recommends traditional calls to 911 as the primary option as they are the fastest way to get help. To learn more about the NRV911, visit www.nrv911.org/.