SPRINGFIELD, Mo.–Contacting 911 in Greene County has been made even easier.
A couple of months ago, texting to 911 was implemented.
It allows you to get help in a situation where you don’t want to be heard such as a case of domestic violence.
Before the official rollout happens later this week, the city council was briefed Tuesday afternoon on the new option.
The new system is providing a convenience to the hearing impaired and domestic violence victims.
Even though some people in Greene County are already using the option to text to 911, it’s Springfield City Council that needed to be brought up to speed.
“That was really surprising. I learned a lot today,” says Mayor Ken McClure.
Including, Zim Schwartze-director of 911 emergency communications in Greene County explaining the ins and outs of how the system works.
“It’s very similar to the TTY, TTD system that we’ve had in place the teletypewriter and the deaf communications and what will happen is it will come up on the telecommunications system and as your texting it is that quick. As you’re texting, it’ll come in and it’s very back and forth just like the text you have on your phone when talking to your friends,” says Schwartze.
There’s already one text to 911 being made a day in Greene County usually from the hearing impaired and victims of domestic violence. Lisa Farmer, director of the Harmony House says the new option is a game changer.
“This could really make the difference between life and death for some victims to be able to just quickly and discreetly text for help not having to use their voice and tipping off their abuser that they are seeking help,” says Farmer.
While the new option is crucial, Mayor Ken McClure says it’s also presented some obstacles.
“One of the challenges that we’ve had as we deal with 911 is the wireless carriers because we have so many of them and so technology has to be able to function to allow all of them to work and that’s certainly been prevalent now that we’ve dealt with 911 with the texting aspect,” says Mayor Ken McClure.