Text-to-911 program launched in Pulaski Co.

(Copyright by WSLS - All rights reserved)

PULASKI COUNTY (WSLS 10) - Emergency officials in Pulaski County said its 911 centers will now accept text messages during an emergency.

The county's Joint 9-1-1 Communications Center said the service is designed to make reaching 911 as easy as possible. Text-to-9-1-1 is now available to Pulaski County residents and visitors who are also customers of one of the five major wireless providers which are AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular and Verizon Wireless.

The text to 9-1-1 service is a part of a nationwide initiative known as Next Generation 9-1-1 or NG911. The new 9-1-1 Center also has the equipment in place to enable the center to grow as future features and services are developed.

Pulaski County emergency officials said text to 9-1-1 is intended primarily for use in specific emergency situations:

  • For an individual who is speech or hearing impaired
  • Individuals who are unable to call 9-1-1 due to a medical emergency that renders them unable to speak
  • In the event of a crime such as a home invasion, abduction or domestic violence
  • When it is not safe to make a voice call to 9-1-1

Anyone who reaches out to 911 via text are asked to provide location information and the nature of the emergency in the first text message. Text to 9-1-1 location information is not the same as the information received when a person calls 9-1-1 and is often much broader, making pinpointing an exact location more difficult.