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9-1-1 texting soon available in Haywood

The Haywood County Sheriff’s Office will soon have full 9-1-1 text message capabilities.

Right now, operators in the 9-1-1 Communications center are capable of receiving some text messages. However, they are still in the testing phase with the wireless carriers and the plan is to go live with all carriers once the new 9-1-1 center opens at the end of August. This means a higher chance of text message contact failure remains until the system is fully live at the end of the month.

Once the new technology is live, the Haywood County Sheriff’s Office would like to encourage the public to remember the 9-1-1 motto: “call if you can and text if you can’t.” If an emergency arises and a text message is without a doubt the safest option, read the following information about texting to 9-1-1.

• The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed.

• Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from dispatch.

• Text in simple words — do not use abbreviations.

• Keep text messages brief and concise.

• Text location information is not equal to current location technology — GPS coordinates cannot be tracked while texting 9-1-1.

• 9-1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received.

• Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.

• A text or data plan is required to text 9-1-1.

• If texting to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.

• Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.

• While texting 9-1-1, you cannot include more than one person (9-1-1) in the message. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.

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