JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — The Jackson County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday the implementation of a new technology for those individuals who cannot make a voice call to 911 in an emergency.
Just like dialing 911 on a telephone, individuals can now text 911 for emergency service.
The service, Text-to-911, is appropriate for those who are deaf or hard of hearing, unable to speak due to a medical condition, or for individuals in emergency situations that would put the caller in danger if making a voice call; like an abduction, domestic violence, or an active shooter.
The service is also acceptable for those who do not speak English.
The sheriff's office notes testing for Text-to-911 was completed in Jackson County and is currently available with plans from AT&T and Verizon Wireless, with other carriers following later this year.
When using the service, the sheriff’s office requests details like address or location, the type of emergency or the help being requested to be provided.
Individuals should be prepared to answer questions that 911 personnel texts back, use plain language in messages, no texting while driving and provide a short and concise message.
The sheriff’s office adds Text-to-911 may not be available outside of Jackson County.
If a text is made to 911 where that service is not available, a message will be sent back to the phone advising the customer to make a voice call.
The sheriff's office says texting should be done through your wireless phone's text messaging service and not from third party texting applications.
Text-to-911 does require an active telephone service plan with data or it will not work.