News : Texts to 911 Coming Soon to Dorchester County
Dorchester County, SC, USA, July 1, 2015 -- Getting help in an emergency could soon be easier for people living in or near towns such as Summerville, Ridgeville and St. George.
The Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office and Emergency Management Division announced Wednesday the county’s 911 call center now has text messaging capability.
People will be able to text their requests for an ambulance, fire-rescue or law enforcement assistance to 911 beginning June 6, but officials say there are some important things to do and remember.
In the first message, you’re asked to include your location and type of emergency, and be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 dispatcher.
There are some exceptions. You cannot send a text to 911 from a phone that isn’t currently in service with a wireless communications provider.
You also cannot send media messages to 911, which includes photos, videos and group messages. As such, please do not include any numbers besides 9-1-1 in the "Send to" field when you are sending a message to 911.
You’re asked not to use texting slang or abbreviations, and not to text if you’re driving.
Text to 911 service is not available everywhere in South Carolina. If text is not available, you will receive a message letting you know that the service is not available in your area and to call 911.
If you do not receive a response from 911, try to contact 911 by making a voice call. Voice calls to 911 are still the best and fastest way to reach 911.
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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Published: Friday, July 3, 2015