White County 911 services are in the process of adding a Text-To-911 system.
Once completed, residents may directly text the county’s 911 services for emergency needs. E-911 Director Suzy Haston said the number to send a text is still 9-1-1.
“Say there is a domestic going on, it is much easier for them to text help and put their address in,” Haston said. “Always remember we have to know your address. But remember, if at all possible, calling 9-1-1 is always better.”
Haston said the county has been working on providing this service for years but are still missing some equipment. Hatson said a timeline and price tag for the project is unknown due to new technology constantly coming out.
“There is a lot of setup on the 911’s end,” Haston said. “We are having to, even though we keep up-to-date equipment. As soon as these things come out, we are always updating and upgrading. There are several upgrades needed for our equipment.”
Hatson said response time would stay about the same, but the texting service would allow hearing impaired residents to quickly notify law enforcement. Hatson said the new service would be completely free to the public.
“As with any calls to 9-1-1, the quicker we get the address and chief complaint, the quicker we can get emergency responders to the citizens,” Haston said. “When all the text to 9-1-1 is completed, it should deliver the approximate location of the sender as it does with cell phones down.”
Six counties in Tennessee currently use the emergency text service.