Both Joplin and Jasper County 9-1-1 Services announced today that they are accepting Text-to-9-1-1 for their service area. Read the full press release below:
All AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, and United States Cellular customers can now send a text message (up to 140 characters) to both Joplin and Jasper County 9-1-1 in an emergency. Text to 9-1-1 should only be used in an emergency situation, when placing a call is not possible; For instance, if the caller is deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, or when speaking out loud would put the caller in danger.
If there is an emergency and you are unable to make a call, remember these steps:
- Don’t text and drive
- In the first text message send the specific location and specific details of the emergency.
- Text in simple words – Send a short text message without abbreviations or slang.
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
Don’t Abuse 9-1-1 – Text-to-9-1-1 service is ONLY for emergencies.
- It is a crime to text or call 9-1-1 with a false report. Prank-texters can be located and prosecuted
The Text-to-9-1-1 service will have many challenges.
- A text or data plan is required to place a Text-to-9-1-1.
- As with all text messages, 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 call 9-1-1.
- If texting in an area that does not have Text-to-9-1-1 services, you will receive a “bounce back” message telling you that Text-to-9-1-1 is not available and to call 9-1-1.
- Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
- Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send group texts or your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
- Cellular devices do not provide accurate location information when texting to 9-1-1, so know your location and be specific when providing it during a 9-1-1 text or call.
- Language translation services are not available currently, so your text must be in English.
- Voice Calls to 9-1-1 Are Still the Best and Fastest Way to Contact 9-1-1
Remember, Text-to-9-1-1 service is not available everywhere, so know your location and the capabilities of the 9-1-1 center you are closest to.