Barry County receiving texts to 911

generic 911 dispatch

HASTINGS, Mich. (WOOD) — Barry County Central Dispatch has added text-to-911 service.

In a Thursday release, Barry County Dispatch Director Phyllis Fuller said the service would allow dispatchers to serve people who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as people who were in a situation where they can’t speak aloud.

Still, citizens are encouraged to “call if you can, text if you can’t.” Dispatchers say the fastest way for them to send help is to speak to someone over the phone.

Dispatchers also reminded people to include the location of the emergency, which they say is “vital,” in the very first text to 911. People who need help should also specify which service they need — ambulance, police or fire — in the initial text. Dispatchers can then gather additional information via texting.

Citizens were reminded NOT to:

  • Text while driving.
  • Send photos or video to text-to-911.
  • Include recipients other than 911 in the same text message.

Calhoun and Ionia counties also have text-to-911 services.

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Online:

Barry County 911

FCC on Text-to-911