Town of Dickinson, NY – Broome County Executive Debbie Preston joined Broome County Emergency Services Coordinator Jerry Marinich and Broome County Sheriff David Harder to announce that Broome County will soon be using the Text 9-1-1 service.
Instead of dialing 9-1-1 and talking to an operator, you can text 9-1-1 and talk to an operator through text messaging.
“This is one more important tool to help keep people in our community safe during an emergency,” says Broome County Executive Debbie Preston. “This would be of great benefit for anyone who is hearing impaired, or for a woman who is in the middle of a domestic violence situation and can’t verbally talk on a telephone out of fear, or perhaps for a child who has been kidnapped, or during a hostage situation.”
“County Executive Preston has shown a commitment to improving public safety, and this is one more tool that we can help the public,” says Broome County Emergency Services Coordinator Jerry Marinich. “It is important to remember if you send a text message to 911, give the 911 call taker an accurate address or location as quickly as possible, if you can.”
Calling 9-1-1 on the phone is still the most efficient way to reach an emergency dispatcher, because voice calls allow the 911 operator to more quickly ask questions and obtain information from the caller, while texting can take more time.
In addition, when you make a voice call to 911, the dispatcher will typically receive your phone number and the approximate location of your phone automatically.
The County is in the process of installing new equipment to make this process possible.
Once installed, the County will notify all the cell phone companies, who would have 6 months to comply with the request per FCC regulations.