January 28, 2019 3:55 a.m.
The Douglas County Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications Division has begun accepting Text-to-911 messages in response to emergencies.
Sergeant Brad O’Dell said it’s a newer, important service. O’Dell said its intended to benefit people that may not be able to speak in an emergency. That can include a home invasion situation or an abusive partner. It will also benefit individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities.
O’Dell provided a list of things people should know about how Text-to-911 works:
*When texting to 911 for an emergency, the first message should be the location of the emergency, including city, and the type of emergency help needed. That means police, fire, or medical.
*Keep text messages brief and concise, using full words.
*Stay with your phone, be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 dispatcher.
*Photos and videos should not be sent to 911 because not all wireless carriers are able to support this feature and it can delay dispatchers in sending help.
*911 cannot be included in a group text or while roaming.
O’Dell said the service is not yet available state-wide in Oregon.
For more information about Text-to-911 go to www.nwtext911.info.