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Texting 9-1-1 for emergency assistance is NOT available

By Staff | Apr 6, 2012

Local 9-1-1 officials are reminding residents to call, not text, when they have an emergency. The technology to receive text messages is not yet available for 9-1-1 centers in North Dakota.

Voice calls to 9-1-1 automatically route to the emergency call center based on where the call is made, and there is an immediate confirmation with the 9-1-1 operator that the call has been received. If you try to text 9-1-1, the message will not go through.

As more people abandon landlines and rely solely on cellphones, emergency officials remind people they need to provide the dispatcher a location, as well as details about the emergency.

“If you call 9-1-1, answer all questions, don’t hang up, follow instructions and try to provide a precise location,” said Ken Reed, Director of Rugby EMS. “If it is a misdial, don’t hang up. Tell the dispatcher what happened so they know there isn’t an emergency”.

“It’s especially important for the younger generation to realize you can’t text 9-1-1,” said Reed. “Parents need to make sure their children know they must still dial 9-1-1 for emergency assistance”.

Special systems such as TDD/TTY (Telecommunication Device for the Deaf) have been in place for years for the hearing-impaired community and those remain fully integrated into the North Dakota 9-1-1 system.

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