Mayor Linda Gorton has announced a new regional initiative is coming to Lexington. What is the new service?
“Text to 9-1-1” is the new service coming to Lexington and several Central Kentucky counties.
“This is a huge step forward in public safety,” Gorton said. “People can now send text messages to local 9-1-1 call centers in Fayette, Jessamine, Garrard and Lincoln counties.” In addition, 9-1-1 operators in those counties can send a text to a 9-1-1 caller, for example, to check on his condition or her location.
Gorton said while everyone can use the texting service in an emergency situation, it is essential to those who are non-verbal, hard of hearing, deaf or speech impaired. Executive Director of the Kentucky Commission of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, Virginia Moore, said the service may be the difference between life and death.
“Texting 9-1-1 is simple,” said Robert Stack, Director of the Lexington Division of Enhanced 9-1-1.“Just enter 911 in the ‘To’ field and push the send button,” Stack said. “Texts should contain the location of the emergency, and explain the type of help needed. Citizens are encouraged to text in simple words and to keep messages brief.” Top tier cell phone providers, including AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-mobile, support the service. No photos or videos can be sent.
Cell towers can be overwhelmed during traffic jams and sporting events that a text can sometimes be easier to transmit than a call.
“This improvement makes all of us safer,” Gorton said. “Thanks to Robert Stack and our public safety community for making ‘text to 9-1-1’ a reality for Lexington and its neighbors.”
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