In mid-January, Franklin County’s Emergency Communications Centers—including the City’s provider, NRECC, at the City of Dublin—rolled out a new feature that expands the options available to residents when they are experiencing an emergency. The new Text to 911 feature enables residents to send a text for assistance if necessary.
Residents are advised that this new option should only be used under certain circumstances:
- If you are deaf, hard of hearing or have a speech disability.
- If you are unable to speak due to an injury.
- If you are in a threatening situation and a voice call would increase the threat.
- If mobile phone reception is poor.
If you do need to send a text for emergency assistance, all you have to do is type in the numbers 911 in the “to” field. Then type a brief but informative message that includes your location and the type of emergency. Then press “send.”
Some other useful information about this emergency option:
- Be aware that cell phones’ location information that accompanies a text is not as sophisticated as wireless voice call location technology.
- A text or data plan is required on your cell phone to use this option.
- The delivery of 911 text messages may be slightly delayed or could even fail.
- Photos and video cannot be sent at this time.
- The text for emergency assistance cannot go to more than one recipient. Do not copy any other contacts on your text.
- Once your text has been received, you will be sent a response from the 911 call center.
- Do not send a text to 911 as a prank—be aware that your phone can be identified and you may be prosecuted for misuse, according to local regulations.
- At this time, Delaware County is the only other jurisdiction using Text to 911 in Central Ohio—should you send a text that can’t be delivered, you will receive a message from your wireless carrier notifying you that this service is not available at your location.
- Do not text and drive.
In all other circumstances it is advisable to call 911 because a two-way conversation between you and a trained dispatcher is typically a more efficient means to provide the help you need during an emergency.
While we hope you won’t find yourself in a situation that warrants the use of Text to 911 for emergency assistance, it’s important to understand that this option is now available. Additional details can be found by clicking here.