GOLD BEACH, Ore. — In some emergency situations, it may be impossible for someone to make a 911 call. As a result, more and more agencies are adding "Text-to-911" capability — now including Curry County.
"After months of hard work and dedication from many agencies and team members alike, the Curry County Sheriff’s Office and the Brookings Police Department dispatch centers now have Text-to-911 capability," the Curry County Sheriff's Office (CCSO) announced on Monday.
The change isn't merely one of convenience, however, but one of necessity. CCSO said that Text-to-911 should not replace voice calls for most people in need of emergency services, but should be reserved for when voice calls are impossible to make.
"The widely used Text-to-911 catchphrase is 'Call if you can, text if you can't,'" the agency said.
Dispatch is still better able to get information about the nature of the emergency, your current locations and the situation responders are walking into when you call 911 rather than text. But for those unable to call, texting is now an option.
Not all areas in Oregon or the country have Text-to-911 as an option yet, but according to the regional website, Josephine, Jackson and Klamath counties all have the service live. In areas where the service is employed, the text may be re-routed to the correct dispatch center for the jurisdiction. In areas where there the capability is not setup, you might get a "bounce back" message to make a voice call if Text-to-911 is not available.
For more information you can go to the Northwest regional website for Washington and Oregon here.