Text-To-911 Now Available In Mesa County: Learn the Benefits and Limitations of this New Service #GVCopBeat
Mesa County, Colo– The Grand Junction Regional Communication Center is proud to announce an advancement in our 911 capabilities. Mesa County is now the third county in Colorado to offer Text to 911, thanks to a partnership with the Larimer County Dispatch Center. Text-to-911 is the ability to send a text message to reach 911 emergency call takers from your mobile phone or device.
This service will benefit the deaf, hard of hearing, those with speech disabilities, and those in dangerous situations when making a voice call to 911 would put them at risk. For example, in the event of a burglary a person might be in his or her home hiding in a closet and a voice call to 911 might reveal their location, thus putting them in danger. In addition, there are certain instances when there isn’t enough signal strength on a cell phone to make a voice call, but sending a text message will go through.
The FCC (Federal Communications Commission) has partnered with the four largest cellular providers, AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile to make this service available. Text-to-911, or the ability to send an SMS message through a wireless cellphone to a 911 emergency dispatch center, is in the works to become available nation wide.
Voice calls to 911 will still remain the prominent method for reaching emergency assistance. Voice calls allow the operator to quickly ask questions and obtain information about the caller. Compared to a voice call to 911, texting 911 will cause a delay in the response time of the dispatch center and the arrival of emergency services. For Mesa County, a text to 911 will be re-routed to the Larimer County Dispatch Center. Their dispatchers will take the initial text and forward the emergency information back to the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center.
It is important to note that in most cases, the location of the emergency and texter will not be noted for the dispatch center. The texter should provide the location and emergency as the first part of their emergency text message to 911. Text messages sent to 911 should be as clear as possible, and avoid the use of slang or abbreviations.
Remember, you can make a voice call to 911 using a wireless phone that does not have a service plan, but you cannot send a text message to 911 without a service contract that includes texting. It is always important to remember–call if you can, text if you must.
For more information about the Mesa County Text-to-911 service, please click here.
Please watch this video to better understand this service.
If you have any further questions about the Mesa County Text-to-911 service, please call Monica Million at 970-549-5403.