Text-to-911 Now Available
JANUARY 8, 2018 — Approximately one year ago, the City of Staunton completed significant upgrades to its E911 call system and transitioned to NextGen 911. Part of that upgrade provided for a text-to-911 feature, but wireless carriers had not yet updated their networks to accommodate this feature.
All wireless carriers have completed the necessary updates to their networks, and text-to-911 is now live in Staunton.
Text-to-911 will be especially beneficial to callers who are hearing impaired and in situations when a citizen is in danger and unable to speak freely with a public safety dispatcher. Only SMS (text messages) should be sent using this feature. Not all wireless carriers support MMS, or picture messages, to the text-to-911 system.
Text-to-911 is not designed to replace the traditional 911 call system. Citizens are reminded to call 911 in an emergency if able to do so.
Citizens should also keep in mind that text-to-911 is available in the City of Staunton, and this feature may not be operational in other jurisdictions at this time. All Virginia localities are required to have text-to-911 by July 1, 2020.
Just like traditional 911 phone calls, the text feature should only be used in an emergency.