February 25, 2024

Text-to-911 service enhancements look to save more lives

Garden City, Kan (WesternKansasNews.Com) – The Garden City Police Department, in conjunction with the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council, announces the enhancements made to the Text-to-911 service in Kansas. Text- to-911 has been available to citizens of Finney County since November 2017, for individuals who cannot safely make a voice call to 911 in an emergency.

Basic Text-to-911 Service
Texting 911 can be done by typing “911” in the field for a phone number. No other numbers need to be used. Texting should be done through your wireless phones text messaging service and not from a third-party texting application. Text-to-911 does require an active telephone service plan with data, or it will not work.

Although Text-to-911 is available in most Kansas counties, if a text is made to 911 where
that service is unavailable, a message will be sent back to the phone advising the customer
to make a voice call.

Some situations when Text-to-911 is appropriate:
➢ Deaf, hard of hearing callers, or individuals with a speech impairment
➢ A caller who is unable to speak due to a medical or other condition
➢ Emergencies that would put the caller in danger if making a voice call
o Examples include abduction, domestic violence, or active shooter situation

When texting to 911, follow these guidelines:
➢ Provide your exact address or location
➢ Explain the type of emergency or help that is being requested
➢ Be prepared to answer any questions that the 911 telecommunicator texts back.
➢ Use plain language; do not use abbreviations, symbols, emoticons, or photos.
➢ Messages should be brief and concise.

➢ Text from 911 – 911 Centers can now initiate a two-way text session to callers from the RadiusPlus Map.
➢ Automatic 70+ language translations and pre-configured messages
➢ RapidLocate – a tool that allows responders to find you by directly integrating with GPS data.
➢ OnStar Telematics Data – automatically collects OnStar crash data, alongside call data, directly on the call-takers map.
➢ What3Words location – allows you and the call-takers to view your location in a human-friendly format.
➢ RapidVideo – a one-way video chat service. The call-taker can initiate a video call to view what is happening around the 911 caller to understand the situation better.

The Garden City Police Department and the Kansas 911 Coordinating Council are excited to offer Text-to-911 to the citizens of Finney County. Remember: CALL if you can, TEXT if you can’t.