Gates Co. implements text-to-911

Published 10:58 am Monday, August 22, 2016

GATESVILLE – Gates County now has text-to-911 service.

Herman Weiss, Gates County 911 Supervisor, said US Cellular and Verizon wireless carriers are currently working with the county to provide text-to-911 service.

Weiss said it is best to call an emergency into 911 directly to speak with an operator, but in certain situations text might be best.

For example, if an intruder is in your home and you don’t want to reveal your presence or your whereabouts, text-to-911 is a good option.

Weiss said the text-to-911 service just started in Gates County.

If you try to text-to-911 in a county that doesn’t have the service, you will get a message back telling you the service isn’t available.

“This is a good tool for the citizens of Gates County,” Weiss said. “We want the best emergency services for our citizens.”

He said this service didn’t require the county to buy new hardware.

As with any 911 call, only use this text-to-911 service in an appropriate emergency and give detailed location information to the 911 dispatcher so emergency responders can quickly get there to help you out.

Weiss reminds people calling 911, “Call if you can, text if you can’t.”