People in Clarke County can now use text messaging to reach 911

Virginia

CLARKE COUNTY, Va. (WDVM) — People in Clarke County can now reach 911 emergency services through text messaging by using a mobile phone or other handheld devices if their carrier is AT&T or Verizon Wireless.

People can use the service by typing 911 in the to or recipient field, then writing a short message about the emergency, what services are needed or requested, and where the emergency is located. Hitting send allows dispatchers to communicate with you and ask further questions about the incident.

The Clarke County Sheriff’s Office lists additional information about the service on their Facebook page:

● Location information attached to a Text-to-911 message is not equal to wireless voice call location technology.
● As with all text messages, 911 text messages can take longer to receive, might be delivered out of order, or may not be received at all.
● Translation services are not available at this time, and any Text-to-911 call placed in Clarke County should be in English.
● Text-to-911 is not available in “roaming” situations.
● A text or data plan is required to place Text-to-911 messages.
● If Text-to-911 is not available in your area or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 911 is not available. Contact 911 by another means.
● Text-to-911 does not accept photos and videos at this time.
● Text-to-911 cannot include multiple recipients. Send emergency texts only to 911. Wait until you are safe to notify others of your situation.
● Do not text and drive!

The service is primarily for people with verbal or audio disabilities or limitations, or for those who are unable to safely call 911 due to the unsafety of the situation.

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