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The City of Twin Falls Communication Center, Blaine County Emergency Communication Center, and Southern Idaho Regional Communication Center launched an innovative text-to-911 system that will serve cities and counties in south-central Idaho.
The system, which is part of a cooperative effort among the emergency communications centers, will provide the ability for both residents and visitors in the region to send a text message to 9-1-1. Although voice calls should still be the primary method of communication with emergency dispatch centers, text-to-911 will provide another method of communication in the event that callers are unable to make voice calls or when it may be unsafe to do so.
When to text to 9-1-1: - If you are hearing or speech impaired - When a voice call could increase a threat - If you are injured and cannot speak - If you are in a remote location and can only send a text message
How to text to 9-1-1 in an emergency: - Enter the numbers 911 in the “To” field - The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed - Push the send button - Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker - Keep the text message brief and concise; avoid slang and abbreviations
"We are pleased to provide this additional safety tool to our citizens and to visitors in the area," said Lt. Craig Stotts, Twin Falls Police Department. "There may be times when it is unsafe to be heard placing a call to our emergency dispatchers, or times when cellular connections are too weak and only allow for data usage. We prefer that people call us if they can, but they are now able to text us if they must."