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Roswell 911 Implements Text-to-911

The City of Roswell's 911 Emergency Communications Division has collaborated with AT&T and West Corporation Safety Services to implement Text-to-911 on Roswell's Next Generation 911 (NG911) call handling system. Text-to-911 is an alternative to calling 911 in emergencies where it is unsafe for an individual to speak.

Text-to-911 benefits individuals who suffer from hearing loss or individuals in dangerous situations, such as an intruder in the home or a domestic violence situation. Speaking to a 911 dispatcher is still the fastest way to receive help in an emergency.

When using Text-to-911 in an emergency, take these steps:
  1. Enter the numbers 911 in the "To" field.
  2. Text your exact address and type of emergency.
  3. Send the message.
  4. Use simple words. Do not include abbreviations, emojis, pictures or slang.
  5. Promptly answer questions and follow instructions.
Challenges do exist with Text-to-911. For instance, emergency responses may be lengthened due to the time it takes for a text to 911 to be typed and sent. Delivery of texts and speed of delivery are also not guaranteed.

To ensure the best service and response time from 911 Emergency Communications, dispatchers prefer calls so cues from background noise and voice inflections can assist in a call. If you text 911, dispatchers will ask if they can call you. Location is not as accurate with texting as it is with a call. Be sure to text your exact address.

A text or data plan is required to use Text-to-911. Texts to 911 will get a bounce back message if you are roaming. Texts to 911 have a 160 character limit, can get out of order, or may not be received. There is no language translation service for texts to 911. Do not text and drive.

Text-to-911 should only be used in emergencies. Texting 911 with a false report is a crime. If you accidentally send a text to 911, send another text, or call 911 to let the dispatcher know that there is no emergency.
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