9-1-1 texting goes live in Allen County

It’s not just dialing 9-1-1 anymore for people in South Dakota looking to get a hold of...
Allen County said text-to-9-1-1 should only be used in emergencies when calling 9-1-1 is not possible.(SD Department of Public Safety)
Published: May. 10, 2022 at 1:06 PM EDT
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ALLEN COUNTY, Ohio (WTVG) - Allen County announced Tuesday it is now accepting 9-1-1 emergency text messaging.

Wireless customers can now send a text, no longer than 140 characters, to 9-1-1 during an emergency.

Allen County said text-to-9-1-1 should only be used in emergencies when calling 9-1-1 is not possible: For instance, if the caller is deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech impaired or when speaking aloud would put the caller in danger.

The county asks that you do not send a text to “test” or “see if it’s working” as that can tie up emergency lines and call takers.

If you’re in an emergency and unable to call, Allen County wants you to remember these steps:

  • Do not text and drive.
  • In your first message to 9-1-1 send the location and type of emergency.
  • Text in simple words. Send a short text message in English, no abbreviations or slang.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
  • A text or data plan is required to place a Text-to-9-1-1.
  • Text messages to 9-1-1 may take longer to receive, may get out of order or may not be received at all.
  • If you do not receive a text response from 9-1-1, try to contact 9-1-1 another way.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1.
  • Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Don’t send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
  • Voice calls are still the best and fastest way to contact 9-1-1.

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