The ability to use texting to contact emergency services is about to come to DeSoto County.
The DeSoto County Emergency Communications Commission (E911) Tuesday announced that Text to-911 is coming to the county.
The commission said it had recently upgraded the county E911 system to a Next Generation Platform that enhances emergency 911 call delivery and handling. This upgrade includes the ability for citizens to text 911 in emergency situations.
DeSoto County’s five PSAPs (Emergency Communications Centers) will officially begin accepting SMS text-to-911 messages on Oct. 1.
While text-to-911 will be possible on and after this date, the Emergency Communications Commission reminds residents of the NENA Standard “Call when you can; Text when you can’t” guideline. Texting is not meant to replace voice calls to 911, rather to allow another form of communication in situations when calling 911 may not be an option.
The National Emergency Number Association (NENA) is a not-for-profit corporation that develops standards for emergency call handling. The NENA Standards are a model for Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) to ensure consistency in processing emergency and non-emergency calls. The