The St. Joseph Emergency Communications Center has officially began accepting text 911 service for Buchanan County.
The department made the announcement Monday. In the event of an emergency when calls cannot be made people can now send a text message of up to 140 characters to the communications center.
As we previously reported, authorities have been working on bringing the service to the community for some time.
“We’re always going to encourage people to call 911 just because we get better location information from that, we can obtain information a lot quicker from a caller and all of our 911 operators go through extensive training where we listen to things like background noise and we’re able to obtain a lot more information about the call from that but unfortunately there’s situation where that’s not an option,” said Dawn Hill, dispatch supervisor in a prior interview. “Such as an active shooter or a domestic violence situation so we want to look at what we can do to provide to our community to keep them safe.”
The department said the service should only be used when there is an emergency situation and a call is not possible. Examples include if the caller is deaf, hard-of-hearing, speech impaired, or when speaking out loud would put the caller in danger.
For more information see the news release below.