Greenville County offers Text-To-911

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First in State

Greenville County Sheriff Steve Loftis announced this week that the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office was the first agency in South Carolina to implement text-to-9-1-1 from Verizon cellular phones.

The four major wireless carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile) agreed with the FCC to have a temporary text-to-9-1-1 service available to consumers by May 15, 2014. The Verizon temporary solution, being implemented in partnership with Telecommunication Systems (TCS), is the first successful text-to-9-1-1 solution installed in South Carolina. These solutions are called “temporary” until standards for the delivery of Next-Generation 9-1-1 calls are fully developed.

Those Verizon customers who have a service contract with Verizon can text 9-1-1. Other wireless customers will receive a “bounce back notification” indicating Text-to-9-1-1 is not available for that wireless carrier.

Sheriff Loftis reminds the public that the best way to receive timely emergency service is to dial 9-1-1 and speak with a call taker directly. Text-to-9-1-1 provides a viable alternative for the hearing and speech impaired community in Greenville County as well as those situations where a voice call to 9-1-1 might place the caller in jeopardy, such as a domestic abuse situation.