Text-to-911 is not yet available in Clark County (CRESA 9-1-1)
- All 9-1-1 centers in Washington are currently working to upgrade their systems in order to accept Text-to-9-1-1, but the technology is not state-wide yet
- The ability to Text 9-1-1 is currently available in Kitsap County only. Texting is not available state-wide at this time. (Keep yourself updated as this will be changing frequently.)
- Only certain carriers are currently available in those counties.
- The preferred method for contacting 9-1-1 is still to call. Text-to-9-1-1 is intended for people that may not be able to speak due to an emergency such as a home invasion or abusive partner, as well as individuals that are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities. Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t is the message.
- Why is Clark County not accepting Text-to-9-1-1?
Clark County (CRESA 9-1-1) is still in the process of updating equipment. There are still some unknowns about what will happen when individuals can begin to text-to-9-1-1. CRESA is currently watching Kitsap County to see if there are any issues they have in launching and to make sure those do not happen here.
CRESA still believes calling 9-1-1 is the best choice when help is needed. CRESA, in partnership with other 9-1-1 Dispatch Center’s across the state, has started a public education campaign sharing Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t.
- When will Clark County begin accepting Text-to-9-1-1?
CRESA is actively updating systems and hopes to be able to launch Text-to-9-1-1 in Clark County this fall.
- How will Text- to-9-1-1 work?
CRESA is currently working cooperatively with other counties within Washington State. We are also working with our local regional partners across the Columbia River in Oregon about how we would transfer Text-to-9-1-1 calls between agencies.
- When will this be state-wide?
It is up to each 9-1-1 call center to decide whether and when to begin accepting texts. To implement emergency texting, 9-1-1 call centers state-wide need the proper equipment, software and training. 9‑1‑1 centers in Washington State are currently working to make the necessary upgrades in order to accept text-to-9-1-1.
- Is there an FCC regulation that requires 9-1-1 centers to accept text to 9-1-1?
At this time, the FCC has only placed a regulation on the wireless carriers to make text available. The deadline for the 4 major carriers was May 15, 2014. Currently 9-1-1 centers are not required to accept text messages.
- Is Clark County behind in offering this service?
No. There are 6,000-plus 9-1-1 call centers in the U.S. Less than 10 percent have implemented this service at this time. There is no requirement for 9-1-1 centers to provide this service. However, we are working on providing this service as an enhancement for the public.
- Will this cost the public more money?
No. The 9-1-1 system is funded by a fee that is already included in your phone service fees.
- Why is texting important?
Texting to 9-1-1 is intended to benefit people that may not be able to speak due to an emergency such as a home invasion or abusive partner, as well as individuals that are deaf, hard of hearing, or have speech disabilities.
- Does Text-to-911 replace regular 911 calls?
Calling 9-1-1 is still the preferred method; the key thing to remember is Call if You Can, Text if You Can’t.
- What are the challenges with accepting 9-1-1 texts?
The 9-1-1 Call Center cannot identify the person’s exact location. Additionally, it can take more time for a call taker to respond to a written text message.
- What happens if someone texts a 9-1-1 call center that does not accept texts?
Anywhere that 9-1-1 text services are currently not available, wireless carriers have implemented an alert message warning anyone that sends a text that their 9-1-1 message was not received, and they should make a voice call to 9-1-1 instead.
- Is it text-only? What about sending photos and video at a scene?
For the moment, 9-1-1 can only accept written words. Accepting pictures and video could be coming in the future.
- Who governs Text-to-9-1-1 exactly?
The FCC required the wireless carriers to offer Text-to-9-1-1 service. However it is up to each 9‑1-1 center to decide when to accept text.