The Porter County
E-911 Center announced during Tuesday’s Board of Commissioners meeting it
has gone live with accepting text messages.
Porter joins the
growing list of Indiana counties capable of accepting incoming Text-to-911
“Texting is a form
of communication that needs to be addressed by public safety. People expect
this service and we are proud to have it now in Porter County,” said County
Central Communications Director John Jokantas in a prepared statement.
Jokantas told the
Commissioners that the Indiana Statewide 911 Board and INdigital Telecom of
Fort Wayne have agreed to fund the effort and provide the technology to make
the service available with the surcharge moneys they get.
note, however, that a voice call is “always better,” Jokantas said, and that
texting 911 should only be used when talking is not an option.
texting 911 would be appropriate is when the caller is deaf, hearing or
speech impaired; if the caller is otherwise unable to speak because of a
medical condition, such as a stroke; or if speaking would be unsafe, as in
the case of an abduction or home invasion.
County E911 public
information officer Paige Connelly also added that texting is much slower
than calling and it’s possible that texting users may get a bounce back
message advising them to make a voice call if they are out of the area.
Residents living near county boundaries or in areas where the closest cell
tower is in a neighboring county are most likely to have their texts bounce
back, she said.
The center also
advises that you should never text while driving.
To text 911, create
a new text message on your cell phone and put “911” into your To: line. Type
in your emergency and location and hit send. A 911 dispatcher should respond
in 20 seconds to one minute.
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