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Bingham County launchesnew 911 text service

You can now send a text message to 9-1-1 in Bingham County.

It’s no longer required to have a TTY to communicate with 9-1-1. TTY is a device that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired to use a telephone to communication through typing rather than traditional phone conversation.

If you are in a dangerous situation or otherwise unable to call 9-1-1, you can use text-to-911. When doing so, officials ask you include as much information in each individual message to get help sent more quickly without having to message back and forth repeatedly which can take time or light up your phone multiple times which can have the potential to further compromise your situation.

To use text-to-911, type 911 in the “to” field of a new text message. Be sure to provide your location as soon as possible, along with a short description of the emergency. Use simple words and no abbreviations.

If you attempt to send a text-to-911 and are in an area where the text to 9-1-1 service is unavailable (it is not currently available nationwide), you should receive an immediate “bounce-back” message that text-to-911 is not available and that you should contact emergency services by another means, such as by making a voice call or using telecommunications relay services.

You must have a text-capable wireless phone and a wireless service subscription or contract with a wireless phone company. You may also need a “wireless data plan.”

Even though text-to-911 is now available in Bingham County, if you are able to make a voice call to 9-1-1, and it is safe to do so, you should always make a voice call instead. Voice calls allow the 9-1-1 Call Taker to more quickly ask questions and obtain information from a caller, two—way communication by text can take more time and is subject to limits on the length of text messages. When you make a voice call to 9-1-1, the 9-1-1 Call Taker will typically receive your phone number and approximate location automatically.

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