Friday, March 10, 2017, the Waukesha County Communications (WCC) Center publicly unveiled its new Text-to-911 service. WCC is the first dispatch center in Southeast Wisconsin to offer residents the ability to send text messages to 911. Using Motorola Solutions Emergency CallWorks CallStation software, Waukesha County is the first in the state to offer this service at a public safety-grade level.
Text-to-911 service is invaluable for those who cannot safely call 911 in an emergency, such as individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing, with a speech disability, or who may be in danger if they speak aloud.
“The new Text-to-911 service gives people new options to request help during emergency situations that require an immediate response from police, fire or medical services,” said Gary Bell, Director of the Waukesha County Department of Emergency Preparedness. “However, in most cases dialing 911 is still the best way for most people to get help.
Call If You Can, Text If You Can’t
- The public is reminded to “Call if you can, text if you can’t,” because dialing 911 and speaking with a dispatcher is still the best way to request help during emergency situations.
- Location information with Text-to-911 is not available at this time.
- Utilizing the Text-to-911 feature may take longer than using the voice 911 call
- Just like regular text messages, 911 messages can take longer to receive, may be received out of order or may not be received at all.
- Sending a text message to 911 may not be available if you are roaming.
- A text/data plan is required to send a text to 911.
- Group texts, photos and video cannot be sent to 911.
Public Safety-Grade Services
Waukesha County is the first in the state to offer Public Safety-Grade (PSG) Text-to-911 service, through Motorola Solutions Emergency CallWorks CallStation software. PSG communications systems are used by public-safety responders, and have been evaluated by public-safety officials to provide reliant and resilient operations in the event of natural or manmade disasters or events.
“Text-to-911 can be a lifeline for citizens who cannot safely call 911 during an emergency,” said Dan Twohig, vice president Motorola Solutions Smart Public Safety Sales. “Motorola Solutions is proud to offer user-friendly software solutions such as CallStation that make it easier for agencies like Waukesha to enable texting and other next-generation 911 features that better serve citizens and communities."
About the Waukesha County Communications Center
The Waukesha County Communications Center (WCC) is the largest Public Service Answering Point (PSAP) in Waukesha County. WCC answers all digital 911 calls for the County, most non-emergency calls, and dispatch services for 32 of Waukesha County’s 37 municipalities.