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Jackson County Sheriff’s introduce new 911 texting service

Jackson County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday a new text-to-911 service.
Jackson County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday a new text-to-911 service.(Jackson County Sheriffs Office)
Published: Jan. 21, 2022 at 4:22 PM EST
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JACKSON COUNTY, Fla. (WCTV) - Jackson County Sheriff’s Office announced Friday a new text-to-911 service. The service will be accessible for those who are unable to make a phone call to 911 in case of an emergency.

Testing for the new system was conducted in Jackson County and is currently available to residents using carrier AT&T and Verizon Wireless. The county is expected to add on other carriers later this year.

When using the service, JCSO ask that users follow these guidelines:

  • Provide your exact address or location if possible (Location services may be limited with texts)
  • Explain the type of emergency or help that is being requested • Be prepared to answer any questions that the 911 telecommunicator texts back
  • Use plain language; do not use abbreviations, symbols, emoticons, or photos
  • Do NOT text while driving or operating a vehicle
  • Messages should be brief and concise. Texting 911 can be done by typing “911″ in the field for a phone number, no other numbers need to be used

Text-to-911 is not available outside of Jackson County. If a text is sent outside the service area a message will be sent back to the phone advising the customer to make a voice call. An active cellphone plan with data service is required to use the system otherwise it will not work.

This will be a valuable service to the deaf and hard of hearing community. Examples of when to use Text-to 911 are as follows:

  • Deaf, hard of hearing callers, individuals with a speech disability, and others with special needs
  • A caller who is unable to speak due to a medical or other condition
  • Emergency situations that would put the caller in danger if making a voice call (abduction, domestic violence, or an active shooter situation
  • Persons whose first language is not English

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