News : St. Joe County 9-1-1 Now Taking Text Messages
Elkhart, IN, USA, Dec 2, 2015 -- "My response back was '9-1-1, what's the address of your emergency?" Capt. Brent Croymans said.
Croymans is showing off the latest tool for the St. Joe County 9-1-1 call center...texting dispatchers.
"Benefits people that are hearing impaired, as well as anybody who may be in a dangerous situation who can't place a voice call." he said.
He says most 9-1-1 callers use cell phones, and the new 9-1-1 Center will be fully operational in a few months, so it's important to keep up with the times.
"We would prefer to have a voice call, there's a lot more technology, it's a much faster process than text, but it does give us that fallback." Croymans said.
When you text 9-1-1, any of five different dispatchers here at the call center will be able to access that text, and get you the help that you need.
When texts like Croymans come in, It sounds like a phone call.
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Dispatchers will pick up and either type out responses or choose from pre-written responses to common questions.
Location of the texter, the texter's phone number and a log of messages sent and received are all at the dispatch's fingertips.
"I think it's cool. I think it's going to be a good thing, just people need to be educated, just like when they call 9-1-1...same thing." dispatcher Julie Kroger said.
Meaning, keep your 9-1-1 texts for to actual emergencies, so that dispatchers can get the appropriate first responders to you in time.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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