Local “Text-to-911” system scheduled to go live Wednesday

MEDFORD, Ore. – Starting Wednesday, May 3, you will be able to send text messages to 9-1-1 in Jackson and Josephine Counties.

Emergency Communications of Southern Oregon said “text-to-911” coverage is meant to benefit people who may not be able to speak during an emergency, such as in cases of home invasion or abuse.

The system will also help those that are hard of hearing or have speech disabilities, according to ECSO.

Dispatchers remind the public that text-to-911 shouldn’t be your first option if you’re able to speak. They say to remember the phrase, “Call if you can, text if you cant.”

ESCO said if you do text 911 with an emergency, the first thing you should send is the precise location and type of emergency help needed.

You’ll also need to stay with your phone to answer any questions and/or follow instructions.

According to dispatchers, they can’t receive photos or videos at this time. Trying to send multimedia messages will “corrupt” the text you’re trying to send.

ESCO said the Klamath 911 Emergency Communications District is working on getting their text-to-911 system up and running in the coming weeks.

The service is not yet available statewide in Oregon or California.

For more information, visit http://wwww.nwtext911.info.

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