911 texting service available for emergencies in Umatilla County

911 texting service available in emergencies for people in Umatilla County

UMATILLA COUNTY, Ore. - People in Umatilla County now have the option to text emergencies to 9-1-1.

A news release from the Sheriff's Office said the Umatilla County 911 Communication Center, the Milton-Freewater Police Department Dispatch and John Day Emergency Communications Center are now able to accept Text-to-911 messages, as of April 10, 2018.

The new service is meant to assist people who may not be able to make a call in an emergency such as a home invasion or domestic violence situation.

The service would also benefit those with hearing or speech disabilities.

Agencies are offering the following guidelines to keep in mind when texting in an emergency.

  • Texting to 911 is intended to benefit people that may not be able to speak in an emergency. The key thing to remember is “Call if you Can, Text if you can’t”.
  • When texting to 911 for an emergency, the first message should be the location of the emergency (including city) and the type of emergency help needed (police, fire, or medical).
  • Keep text messages brief and concise; using full words.
  • Stay with your phone. Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker.
  • Photos, videos and emoji cannot be sent to 911 at this time. Trying to send these will corrupt the call text.
  • You cannot include 911 in a group text or while roaming.

More details can be found here.

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