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Grays Harbor 911 will be accepting text messages

May 19, 2014

Grays Harbor 911 will be able to accept texts, but not just yet.

E-911 Director Peggy Fouts tells KXRO that cell phone companies had a voluntary deadline last week to make 911 texting available nationwide in their networks.

This was only a deadline for those carriers and implementation at each 911 call center across the state will need to build the infrastructure to begin accepting texts.

Call centers need the proper equipment, software and training. 911 centers in Washington are currently working to make the necessary upgrades in order to accept text-to-911, but the technology is not yet in place.

“Texting can be an important tool for those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired to use to directly access 911,” said Fouts, “In addition, in a situation where a victim does not want an intruder or abusive partner to hear them talking, text-to-911 can be very beneficial.”

In the meantime, anywhere that 911 texts are currently not available, wireless carriers have implemented an alert message warning anyone that sends a text that their message was not received, and they should make a voice call to 911 instead.

Categories: Harbor News
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