Iowa First in Nation to Go Live with Text to 9-1-1

Posted by at 3:08 pm on August 3, 2009

The Black Hawk County Iowa 9-1-1 Service Board today announced that the Black Hawk Consolidated Public Safety Communications Center can receive text messages from select wireless subscribers in the county. The call center successfully completed the text trial this past June and is now the first 9-1-1 Call Center in the country able to receive text messages directly into 9-1-1. This groundbreaking effort allows those individuals with speech and hearing impairments, or callers otherwise unable to place a voice call, to use text messaging to communicate directly with a 9-1-1 telecommunicator in an emergency.

“We are pleased that our county has become the first in the nation to succe deploy text to 9-1-1,” said Chief Thomas Jennings, chairman, Black Hawk 9-1-1 Board. “This solution not only helps better protect our speech and hearing impaired citizens but it proves how important it is for public safety to support all forms of communication.”

It is important to note that this solution is currently only available to select wireless subscribers in Black Hawk County. Please remember that a voice call remains the best way to contact 9-1-1. Texting to 9-1-1 should only be used in situations where a voice call is not possible.

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