DATE: August 9, 2021
CONTACT: Meghan Barwick, Public Information Officer
Telephone: (229) 671-2400
Text-to-9-1-1 Now Available for Lowndes County Residents
Lowndes County, Georgia- Residents or visitors to Lowndes County can now send a text message to 9-1-1 for help in an emergency. While Lowndes County 911 emphasizes calls are still the best and fastest way to contact 9-1-1, text messages are an option when a call may not be possible.
“Lowndes County 911 still encourages residents and visitors to our community to call 9-1-1 in the event of an emergency, but adding the text to 9-1-1 capability will help make emergency services more accessible, and safer for anyone in need of help but are unable to call,” said Lowndes County 911 Director Danny Weeks.
Can I send a text to 9-1-1?
- Lowndes County has implemented Text to 9-1-1 for wireless callers within our community.
- Only these carriers currently provide Text to 9-1-1 services within our area (AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, T-Mobile, Southern Linc).
- Texting to 9-1-1 is not available in most areas.
- Text-to-9-1-1 should only be used when you are unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1.
How to text 9-1-1 in an emergency:
- Enter the numbers “911” in the “To” field;
- The first text message to 9-1-1 should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed;
- Push the “Send” button.
- Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
- Text in simple words – do not use abbreviations.
- Keep text messages brief and concise.
Below are a few things to know if you need to text 9-1-1:
- Text location information is not equal to current location technology.
- As with all text messages, 9-1-1 messages can take longer to receive, can get out of order or may not be received.
- Text-to-9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.
- A text or data plan is required to place a text-to-9-1-1
- If texting to 9-1-1 is not available in your area, or is temporarily unavailable, you will receive a message indicating that texting 9-1-1 is not available and to contact 9-1-1 by other means.
- Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time.
- Text-to-9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.
- Do not text and drive!
You must subscribe to your wireless carrier’s text or data plan in order to make or receive text messages. Unlike voice calls to 9-1-1, you cannot send a text message to 9-1-1 without a service plan. Lowndes County advises residents to remember do not text and drive and be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker. Residents should not text photos, video or emojis to 9-1-1, as these files cannot be received through Text to 9-1-1. Also, residents should not abuse the Text to 9-1-1 service by texting a false report or prank messages as they can be identified and located.
In emergencies, response times are critical. Always call 9-1-1 if you can, text if you cannot.
Lowndes County 911 demoed the Text to 9-1-1 service to the Lowndes County Board of Commissioners on Monday morning. Commissioners were shown how the service works and how adding the text to 9-1-1 capability will help make emergency services more accessible, and safer for anyone in need of help but are unable to call. Pictures R to L: Lowndes County Board of Commission Chairman Bill Slaughter, Commissioner Joyce Evans and Commissioner Mark Wisenbaker. Providing the demo is Tonya Davis, Assistant Director, Lowndes County 911.
This picture is a test and not a real emergency!