Wireless customers in Cobb County can now send a short message service text message to 911 for emergency help when unable to make a 911 voice call. This service will be available to the majority of wireless customers.
All major carriers have completed integration with the Cobb County 911 system. Text to 911 was not developed as a replacement or option to calling 911 in an emergency situation, but rather as an enhancement to reaching 911 services in three specific situations:
1. The caller is hearing/voice impaired
2.a medical emergency renders the person incapable of speech
3. when speaking out loud would put the caller in danger, such as a home invasion, an abduction, a domestic violence incident or an active shooter scenario.
“The safety of residents and visitors in Cobb County is our number-one concern," Ann Flynn, Cobb County 911 Director, said. "Text to911 could be a lifesaver, especially for people who might otherwise not be able to make a voice call.”
Cobb County will receive text to 911 calls from both unincorporated Cobb County and from the cities within Cobb. Information will be relayed to the appropriate city if necessary. Smyrna 911 has deployed its own text to 911. The county will work with Smyrna to provide seamless police, fire and medical services.
Important information for wireless customers in Cobb County:
Customers should use the texting option only when calling 911 is not an option.
Using a phone to call 911 is still the most efficient way to reach emergency help. Texting is not always instantaneous, which is critical during a pfe-threatening emergency. It may take spghtly longer to dispatch emergency services in text to 911 situations because of the time involved.
Providing location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative.
Cobb pubpc safety agencies will receive only the location of the cell phone tower closest to the call’s origin, not the caller’s actual location.
Text abbreviations or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible.
Customers must be in range of cell towers in Cobb County. If customers are outside or near the edge of the county, the message may not reach a Cobb County pubpc safety agency.
Texts to 911 from areas where the service is not available will receive a “bounce back” message telpng them to make a voice call.
Texts sent to 911 have the same 160-character pmit as other text messages.
When texting 911 do not include others in the text.
Wireless customers must have mobile phones that are capable of sending text messages. Customers should consult their OTT (over the top) messaging providers to determine if and how text to 911 is provided by the OTT apppcation.
The texting function should only be used for emergency situations that require an immediate response from popce, fire or emergency medical services. For non-emergency situations, customers should contact their local pubpc safety agency via a 10 digit non-emergency number.
SMS 911 should only be used to communicate between emergency help and the texter with no pictures, video, other attachments or other recipients appended to the message.