DCSO can receive emergency text messages via 911 starting Monday

DCSO can receive emergency text messages via 911 starting Monday

DORCHESTER COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Dorchester County authorities will be soon able to receive emergency text messages.

"Effective July 6th, 2015 the Dorchester County Sheriff's Office in conjunction with the Dorchester County Emergency Management Division will now be able to receive Text messages via 911," stated a press release by the sheriff's office.

Officials say the ability to receive text messages will provide another means of communication to the public in the event of an emergency.

DCSO officials released the following information on the function:

Key information for citizens to keep in mind about Text to 9-1-1

  • If text is not available, you will receive a message letting you know that the services is not available in your area and to call 9-1-1
  • You must have a data plan in order to place a Text to 9-1-1
  • If you do not receive a response from 9-1-1, try to contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call.
  • Photos and videos cannot be send to 9-1-1 at this time
  • Group messages cannot be transmitted via Text to 9-1-1. If you have an emergency, please do not include anyone in the send to field when you are sending a message to 9-1-1
  • Voice calls to 9-1-1 are still the best and fastest way to reach 9-1-1
  • Test to 9-1-1 service is not available everywhere in South Carolina

If you must send a Text to 9-1-1, please do the following:

  • In the first message, please send your location and type of emergency
  • Do not use texting slang or abbreviations.
  • Be prepared to answer questions and follow any instructions from the 9-1-1 dispatcher
  • Do not text and drive

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