TEXT-TO-9-1-1 SERVICES AVAILABLE IN SHELBY COUNTY

The Deep East Texas Council of Governments (DETCOG) Regional 9-1-1 Program is pleased to announce the availability of Text-to-9-1-1 service in Shelby County.

Text to 9-1-1 is a service that allows citizens to send a text message directly to 9-1-1 for assistance in the event they are unable to make a voice call.

It is important to remember that text to 9-1-1 services should only be used in an emergency situation when someone is unable to speak or hear. If you need emergency help and are able to call 9-1-1, please do so. It takes longer to get your location and other vital information when communicating through text messages.

When texting 9-1-1, you need to know your exact location and the nature of your emergency. Use street signs, mile markers, cross roads and land marks to help identify your location.

Use simple language and no abbreviations or slang. Please do NOT TEXT and DRIVE! Pull over to a safe location before sending a text to 9-1-1.

To use Text to 9-1-1, simply send a text as you would normally. In the recipient field enter 911, compose the message and push send. Once your text is sent, the 9-1-1 system will send an automated message asking the individual texting for the address of the emergency.

This starts the text session between the 9-1-1 dispatcher and the individual needing emergency help.

Text to 9-1-1 is intended for emergency situations where a person is deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, can’t make a voice call, or when speaking out loud would put the individual in danger. Text-to-9-1-1 provides a silent alternative in cases such as a child abduction, active shooter or domestic abuse.

In 2018, the Shelby County Sheriff’s Office received 13,344 emergency 9-1-1 calls. Nearly 200,000 calls were made to 9-1-1 in the 12-county DETCOG region last year, and approximately 83 percent of those 9-1-1 calls were from cellular phones.

If you are in an area where texting service is not available to 9-1-1, you will receive a ‘bounce-back’ message telling you to make a voice call.

If you would like more information about Text-to-9-1-1, please contact Van Bush, DETCOG Director of Regional 9-1-1 Network, at 409-381-5263 or email at vbush@detcog.org. You can also visit DETCOG’s website at www.detcog.org.