“Text to 911”
The Grand County Communications Center has implemented the “Text to 911” Service for emergency calls in Grand County. This service allows the Dispatch Center to receive 911 calls by text in the event someone is unable to communicate by voice. Text to 911 allows people to relay emergency information to a Dispatcher if they are deaf, hearing impaired, speech impaired, or when placing a voice call is dangerous or impossible. It may also provide the ability to relay information to a Dispatch Center when voice communication is broken or inaudible. The Text to 911 national slogan is “911: Call if you can, Text if you can’t’”, and emphasizes the need to always call 911 first, in an emergency situation, if you are able to.
The Grand County Sheriff’s Office feels this service could also provide more accurate and timely information in some back country emergencies or Search and Rescue calls in areas with limited cell phone coverage. Several of these calls have involved lost or injured people communicating with friends or family members by text and having them relay the information to a Dispatcher. Text to 911 could allow an individual to communicate directly into the Dispatch Center and provide more accurate information. Sheriff Brett Schroetlin said, “Implementing Text to 911 is an effort to provide better, and more complete, service to the citizens of Grand County and all of the visitors to our area”.
We would like to emphasize that the same guidelines for calling 911, for emergencies only, apply to using Text to 911. If your service provider is not set up for this service, you will receive and immediate “bounce back” text notifying you the service isn’t available. For further information on Text to 911, please access the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) web site, or search “Text to 911” for a complete description.
Lieutenant Dan Mayer
Grand County Sheriff’s Office