Morrow County enables 911 text service for certain emergencies

911, Morrow County

HEPPNER, Ore. — Residents of Morrow County can now text 911 for emergency services during instances in which they cannot place a call.

According to an announcement from Morrow County Sheriff’s Office, the area’s 911 Communications Center has established the equipment to send and receive SMS texts via 911. However, there are certain specifications surrounding its use—so don’t text if you can call.

This service is being made available for use immediately for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, speech impaired, or in an emergency situation where they cannot speak on the telephone.

Morrow County law enforcement asks that you “Call if you can, text if you can’t.” They also offered the following tips on how to text 911 during an emergency:

  • Be sure to include clear information about the location (including city) of the emergency with the type of help needed (police, fire, or medical) in the first text message sent to 911. Emergency personnel cannot always determine your location.
  • Stay on the line until the dispatcher closes the dialog, if it is safe to do so.
  • Text to 9-1-1 cannot be sent to more than one person (group message).  Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
  • Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
  • If Text to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, you should receive a message from the wireless carrier stating that Text to 9-1-1 is not available and that you must place a voice or relay call to 9-1-1.
  • If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech disabled, and Text to 9-1-1 is not available, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service, if available.
  • Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1.
  • Don’t forget to silence your phone if you don’t want to be heard.
  • Do not text and drive

Location services must be enabled in order for the texts to connect directly with Morrow County authorities.


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