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PLATTSMOUTH—The Southeast Nebraska Region 911 has just announced the availability of Text-to-911 service for its 16 member counties in southeast Nebraska. This includes Cass County.

At this time, Text-to-911 service is available to the public through most wireless carriers in the southeast region.

Text-to-911 is the next step in accessing emergency services as technology advances. However, Text-to-911 is not meant to take the place of calling 911 using standard voice calls, according to the National Emergency Number Association.

Its current campaign introducing this new option still reminds people to “Call if you can, text if you can’t.”

For those who are hearing or speech impaired Text-to-911 provides a more convenient method to report an emergency. For anyone who is in a place where they cannot safely talk on the phone, are unable to speak or lack of service won’t allow for a voice call, Text-to-911 can also be an important and life-saving tool.

Calling 911 is still preferred as Text-to-911 has some limitations that include:

  • Location acquisition is much more limited and often not available, where voice 911 will typically provide very good location information as to the caller’s whereabouts.
  • There is no guarantee a Text-to-911 text has made it to an emergency dispatch center until a reply from the emergency operator has been received by the sender.
  • Information can be obtained more quickly with a voice conversation than via text.

For information regarding Text-to-911 and the need to “Call if you can, Text if you can’t”, please see the Federal Communications Commission website at https://www.fcc.gov/consumers/guides/what-you-need-know-about-text-911.

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