Contact: Vicki Thoroughman Vicki.Thoroughman@snoco.org 425-388-7016
The region will be more seamlessly covered by this vital service
EVERETT, Wash., December 24, 2018 –Text-to-9-1-1 is an emergency service that has been available in Snohomish County since 2015, and on December 20th, 2018 Text-to-9-1-1 is also available in neighboring King County for the first time. This service is intended to benefit people who may not be able to speak due to an emergency such as a home invasion or abusive partner, as well as those who are deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired.
“Since launching, Text-to-9-1-1 has helped many people and increased access to 9-1-1 for residents in Snohomish County,” said Vicki Thoroughman, Manager of the Snohomish County Enhanced Emergency Services Communication System office. “We are very excited to see King County introduce this service and expand the ability to send a text message to 9-1-1 in our region. Greater Text-to-9-1-1 coverage benefits everyone.”
While coverage is increasing, Text-to-9-1-1 service is not yet available state-wide. If you send a text to 9-1-1 from a wireless carrier or a city/county without the service, you should receive a message saying that the service is not available at this time. Neighboring Kitsap and Thurston counties have Text-to-9-1-1, and Pierce County is working to introduce the feature early in 2019.
Though texting is available, you should always call 9-1-1 if you can. A conversation can more quickly relay vital information and get you the help or services you need. “We would like to use this opportunity to remind the public to ‘call if you can, text if you can’t’,” said Thoroughman.
After texting 9-1-1, a dispatcher will likely ask you if you are available to talk. Appropriate scenarios for texting 9-1-1 could include:
For more details and updates about Text-to-9-1-1 in Snohomish County go to www.snohomishcountywa.gov/EESCS or http://mil.wa.gov/e911