On February 13, 2020, the Garret County Department of Public Safety Communications 911 Center has implemented the ability to Text-to-911 during an emergency.
Text-to-911 service will be available for those individuals who cannot safely make a voice call to 911 in an emergency. This will be a valuable service to the deaf and hard of hearing community. Testing for Text-to-911 has been completed and is available with AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, Verizon, and US Cellular. Text-to-911 may not be available outside of Garrett County.
If a text is made to 911 where that service is not available, 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 disability.
- Be prepared to answer any questions that the 9-1-1 telecommunicator texts back.
- Use plain language; do not use abbreviations, symbols, emoticons, or photos.
- Messages should be brief and concise.
Texting 911 can be done by type “911” in the field for a phone number. No other numbers need to be used. Texting should be done through your wireless phone’s 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.
Remember the best way to contact 911 is by making a voice call. Please utilize this service in emergency circumstances where a voice call is not possible or safe. The Garrett County Department of Public Safety 911 Center is excited to offer the Text-to-911 service to the citizens of Garrett county. If you have any questions, please reach out to Kenny Collins or Justin Orendorf using the contact info listed below:
Kenny Collins, 911 Chief
Garrett County Public Safety
Justin Orendorf, Communications Chief
Garrett County Emergency Services