Text-to-911 services now available in Grays Harbor County

Text-to-911 services now available in Grays Harbor County

The Grays Harbor Communications Center is now able to accept text-to-911 messages.

“Being able to provide text-to-911 services is just one more way for us to be there for our citizens when they need help,” said Executive Director Brenda Cantu.

She said the call center would prefer voice calls during an emergency, which allows dispatchers to gather information faster than testing, but there are benefits to texting.

“One of the main benefits of this technology is the ability to help those with hearing or speech difficulties gain equal access to 911 during an emergency,” said Cantu. “They will no longer need to rely on a relay service or special equipment, other than their smart phone, to communicate with 911.”

Victims of domestic violence, lost hikers with a weak cell signal, or individuals in situations where it’s not safe to make a voice call will also benefit, said Cantu.

To send a 911 text message, open a new message, enter 911 in the “to” field, and type a message detailing your emergency and an address. A public safety telecommunicator will respond back with a message.

Text in plain English and avoid the use of common texting abbreviations. Text-to-911 is not available in all areas of the state or nation. If you text in an area without coverage you’ll get a bounce-back message instructing you to call 911.