Parker residents can now Text 9-1-1 in an emergency

Dawn Rye | Writer

Usually a 911 emergency is when someone needs help right away because of an injury or is in immediate danger. Recently, the South Dakota Department of Public Safety created a Text-to-9-1-1 program available across the state. 

According to the Department of Public Safety, Text-to-9-1-1 can help during an emergency when a victim can’t speak or safely make a voice call. When texting 9-1-1, avoid abbreviations, pictures, videos, group texts and slang and keep messages to 160 characters or less.

A text or data plan is required to use Text-to-9-1-1. Once the dispatch receives a text, it’s best if the victim provides a correct address or location as quickly as possible.

Lincoln County Communications director Todd Baldwin said Text 9-1-1 would give dispatch another tool to communicate with the public in Turner County. If a caller cannot communicate verbally, either due to a safety concern or a physical disability, this can provide direct caller contact.  

He explained direct interactive voice calling will always give the best source of information for collecting data. Being able to hear background noise and interacting with the caller is preferred.  

Currently, Lincoln County has not dispatched a call in Turner County via Text 9-1-1-.

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