BENTON, Ky. (KFVS) - 911 services in Marshall County, Kentucky will soon be offering a way for citizens to contact emergency services through the Text-To-911 program.
The Text-To-911 initiative started as a result of the 2007 Virginia Tech campus shooting where several student attempted to text 911, but dispatch never received them. The program encourages emergency call centers to accept text messages through specialized technology in cooperation with cellular service providers.
This new option allows people to contact 911 services in a discreet way. Situations like abductions, home invasion or active shooter are moments where this service can be most crucial. It is also a way for the deaf and hearing impairs to communicate with emergency services.
How to contact 911
If you use a wireless phone or other types of mobile device, make sure to do the following in an emergency:
· Always contact 911 by making a voice call, if you can.
· If you are deaf, hard of hearing or speech disabled, and text-to-911 is not available, use a TTY or a telecommunications relay service, if possible.
· Remember that in most cases you cannot reach 911 by sending a text message.
If you attempt to send a text to 911 where the service is not yet available, FCC rules require all wireless carriers and other text messaging providers to send an automatic “bounce-back” message that will advise you to contact emergency services by another means, like making a voice call or using a relay service.
Bounce-back messages are meant to minimize your risk of mistakenly believing that a text to 911 has been transmitted.
An inaugural text will be sent on Tuesday, June 11 at 3:30 p.m. at the Marshall County E911 center.
The media is invited to attend to learn more about Text-to-911 and the potential this system has for the citizens of Marshall County.