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Text 911 Calls

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June 30, 2014
Diane Turner-Hurns

The Rosemont Public Safety Department announced on Monday, June 30, that it can now receive 911 emergency texts through its dispatch center.

However, the department notes there is important information one must be aware of before using the text to 911 services.

Officials said that as of June 30, Sprint and Verizon wireless are the only carriers with the ability to send 911 texts within the village. Currently, other wireless carriers are in the process of testing and implementing this enhanced service on their networks.

Rosemont Public Safety Commander Gregory Nazuka stressed that texting 911 in an emergency should only be used if one is unable to make a voice call to 911.

Nazuka said before texting to 911 in an emergency people need to know that:
1 – the text location information is not equal to current location technology - for instance a landline provides a location of where the caller is while a cell phone usually does not;
2 - as with all text messages, 911 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received at all;
3 - texting to 911 is not available if one is roaming, 
4 -- a text or data plan is required to place a text to 911;
5 - if texting to 911 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 911 is not available and to contact 911 by other means;
6 - photos and videos cannot be texted to 911 at this time;
7 - texting to 911 cannot include more than one person, do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 911; and,
8 - do not text and drive.
To send a 911 text to the Rosemont Public Safety Department dispatch center in an emergency, 

Nazuka said, one must:
1 - enter the numbers 911 in the ‘TO’ field;
2 -  make sure the first text message to 911 is brief and contains the location of the emergency and type of help needed;
3 - push the ‘send’ button;
4 -  be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker;
5 - text in simple words – do not use abbreviations; and, 
6 - keep text messages brief and concise.

Texting 911 in an emergency was recently mandated by the Federal Communications Commission, officials note.

 
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