Effective immediately, the public can now text message “911” and get live help in an emergency.
From the demo above, you can see that there is no special App or anything to download. If you find yourself in an emergency where a call is not safe or appropriate, then simply text 911 into your phone, and then emergency services is alerted to assist with your situation.
We talked with the Communications and Records Supervisor Ruby Perkins, who emphasizes that in a medical emergency, it’s best to call, given the nature of the information that needs to be exchanged.
However, for those with voice or hearing disabilities, being able to text is hugely helpful. It’s also potentially life-saving if someone finds themselves in a spot where it’s not safe to make an actual phone call. Being able to text for help has a great many applications, and what is nice is that a map can be brought up to identify the texter’s exact location.
Ruby says she’s been working on taking this service live for several years, and there is no cost to the City for this program. She also says more advanced technology systems are out there, such as video transmission and other features. The department has been working to add those systems in, and will do so as they become more viable.
As always, remember that a 911 call or text is for actual emergency situations only. We welcome the new options to help keep us all safe, and thank you BCPD!