Wireless customers in the City of Visalia can now send a short message service (SMS) text message to 9-1-1 for emergency help when unable to make a 9-1-1 voice call.
This service will be available to any Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, T-Mobile, Comcast or Sprint customer within range of a cell tower in the City of Visalia.
Text to 9-1-1 was not developed as a replacement to calling 9-1-1 in an emergency situation. Instead, it was developed as an enhancement to reaching 9-1-1 services in three specific situations:
1. The caller is hearing/voice impaired
2. A medical emergency renders the person incapable of speech, or
3. When speaking out loud would put the caller in danger, such as a home invasion, an abduction, a domestic violence incident, or an active shooter scenario.
The Communications Operators for the City of Visalia Police and Fire Departments are honored to be the first public safety agencies in Tulare County to provide this Next Generation 9-1-1 service to our citizens. Should every county have this service available? Let us know in the comments section.