For Immediate Release
Text-to-911 Is Here!
11-2-17-Independence, Kansas-Text-to-911 service is available in Montgomery County for those individuals who cannot safely make a voice call to 911 in an emergency. This will be a valuable service to the deaf and hard of hearing community.
Testing for Text-to-911 has been completed for the Independence 911 Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) and is available with plans from AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, & Verizon Wireless, and other local carriers. Text-to-911 may not be available outside of the Independence 911 PSAP’s service area. The Independence 911 PSAP receives all 911 cell phone calls for Montgomery County so Text-to-911 is available to all of Montgomery 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.
Some situations when Text-to-911 is appropriate:
• Deaf, hard of hearing callers, or individuals with a speech disability
• A caller who is unable to speak due to a medical or other condition
• Emergency situations that would put the caller in danger if making a voice call
• Examples include abduction, domestic violence or active shooter situation
When texting to 911, follow these guidelines
• Provide your exact address or location
• Explain the type of emergency or help that is being requested
• Be prepared to answer any questions that the 911 telecommunicator texts back.
• Use plain language; do not use abbreviations, symbols, emoticons, or photos.
• Messages should be brief and concise
Texting 911 can be done by typing “911” in the field for a phone number. No other numbers need to be used. Texting should be done through your wireless phone’s text messaging service and not from third party texting applications. Text-to-911 requires an active telephone service plan with data or it will not work.
Remember, the best way to contact 911 is by making a voice call. Please only utilize this service in emergency circumstances where a voice call is not possible or safe.
The Independence 911 PSAP and the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council are excited to offer Text-to-911 service to the citizens of Montgomery County. There is a map of Text-to-911 availability across Kansas, frequently asked questions, and a video for the deaf and hard of hearing on our Facebook page, Independence Kansas Police Department, like us while you are there so you can keep up to date on all of our public notifications!
Remember: CALL if You Can, TEXT if You Can’t!