Cobb County residents can now send text messages to 911 for help.
All major carriers, including Verizon, AT&T, and T-Mobile, have completed integration for the Cobb County Text to 911 system and the feature is now available to majority of wireless customers in the county. The service was not developed as a replacement to calling 911 in an emergency, but as a way for residents to reach out to 911 in three specific situations:
- The caller is hearing/voice impaired
- A medical emergency renders the person unable to speak
- When speaking out loud would put the caller in danger, such as a home invasion or an abduction.
"The safety of residents and visitors in Cobb County is our number-one concern," Ann Flynn, Cobb County 911 Director, said. "Text to 911 could be a lifesaver, especially for people who might otherwise not be able to make a voice call."
It is imperative for residents to provide location information and the nature of the emergency in the first text message. If a customer is not in the coverage area, the message may not reach a Cobb County public safety agency and the customer will receive a “bounce back” message telling them to make a voice call.
Within the coverage area, the amount of time the text takes to be received varies by carrier. However, upon receipt, a response can be expected within 10 to 15 seconds.
In metro Atlanta, Paulding County is the only other major police agency to offer this service.
Cobb County will receive texts to 911 calls from both unincorporated Cobb County and from the cities within Cobb. Information will be relayed to the appropriate city if necessary. Smyrna 911 has enlisted its own text to 911 and will work with the county to provide necessary emergency services.
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Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@ajc.com