Fulton County Emergency Services has launched Text to 9-1-1 service, according to a press release. It uses the latest state-of-the-art technology allowing hearing and speech-impaired residents, as well as those in potentially dangerous situations, to reach out for help.
“Call if you can — text if you can’t” is the slogan developed by the Federal Communications Commission to implement this new technology. In combination with Text to 9-1-1, Fulton County has also rolled out an “Abandon Call Back” feature that automatically calls a number that dialed 9-1-1, but was disconnected. An abandoned call is a call, or other type of contact, initiated to a 9-1-1 call center that is ended before any conversation occurs. This feature ensures that if someone has an emergency, a 9-1-1 operator can return their call.
Text to 9-1-1 requires a cell phone that has the capability to send text messages. Location services must be enabled and text messages should be brief, easily understood, and should not contain abbreviations, emoji’s, or slang. Currently, the texting service is only available in English; other language solutions are in development and will be implemented as soon as they become available. The system cannot receive photos or videos at this time.
Below are guidelines for how to text to 9-1-1:
· Do not text and drive.
· Enter the numbers “911” in the text “To” field.
· The first text message to 9-1-1 should contain the location and brief description of the emergency and the type of help needed.
· Push the “Send” button.
· Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 text taker.
· Text in simple words. Do not use abbreviations, emoji’s, or slang.
· Keep text messages brief and concise.
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