News : Can't Call for Help? Text 911 in Cayuga County
Cayuga County, NY, USA, June 23, 2015 -- The Cayuga 911 Center receives about 4500 calls a year. And, the 911 Administrator, Denise Spingler believes more people would ask for help, if they weren't scared of what might happen to them.
"I think there definitely is a population out there that is too scared to call. They get into these situations where they're maybe being abused or they're being threatened and they don't want to call for fear that the situation is going to escalate," says Spingler.
For those who are in distress and want to be discrete, they now can send a text message directly to the Cayuga 911 call center.
The center received a grant from homeland security in the beginning of the year and a portion of it went to the new phone system.
"This way we can send a response without the other party even knowing," says Spingler.
Once the text message is sent, it will pop up on the operator's screen. It's at that point, the dispatcher will ask a series of questions. One key thing to keep in mind, the operator will not know your location.
"We always want to know your address and we want to know exactly what you're looking for. Do you need police, fire, or medical services from us," says Spingler.
Also, only send messages in clear, plain language. Spingler stresses the importance of not sending any abbreviations; so there's no miscommunication.
This alert system is growing in popularity. Cayuga county joins 4 other counties in Central New York using the texting system. Call centers in Onondaga, Oswego and Oneida counties already use this feature. Jefferson county is currently in the process of installing the system and it's expected to be in place next month.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About Cayuga 911 Center:
The mission of the Cayuga County E-911 Emergency Communications Department is to provide timely and appropriate responses to requests for public safety assistance throughout Cayuga County; to provide efficient and cost effective communications support for public safety agencies and the citizens of Cayuga County; to facilitate the development of highly trained, proficient, dedicated, and self-motivate personnel; and to constantly strive to improve the performance of personnel and our quality of service to the community.
Published: Thursday, June 25, 2015