A text message could save your life - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

A text message could save your life

A text message could save your life

Posted:
It's a life-line you hope you never have to use, 9-1-1.  But now there's another way to reach 9-1-1 that can keep you safe, by text message.
  
Elkhart County 9-1-1 Center Director, Egbert Dijkstra said texting will be useful in emergency situations when it's just not safe to talk.  "An abduction or school shooting or maybe a home invasion."

"Possibly they're hiding in a closet and texting is quiter, they can put their phone on silent." said Rebecca Schoetzow, Training Supervisor at the Elkhart County 9-1-1 Center.

Schoetzow said it goes even further than that, "for the hearing impaired that could not talk to us on the phone."

But not every emergency warrants a text message. Schoetzow and Dijkstra said a 9-1-1 phone call is still best.  "Call when you can and text if you must," said Dijkstra, "Calling is gonna be a lot more efficient. It's quicker, you don't know how long it's gonna take for a text to come through."

If you do have to text, make sure you still tell dispatchers where you are and what the emergency is so they can get help on its way.  Schoetzow said, "If they send us a blank message it's not going to give us any information on where they are, what the problem is, or it could just be an accident."

People think you can be traced through your cell phone but the experts said it's much more difficult to figure out your location from a text message than it is a phone call.  That's why you need to give as much information as possible in that text.

To use the new texting to 9-1-1 service you have to have texting capabilities on your phone and right now you have to be a Verizon Wireless customer.  That's the only carrier providing this service now, but the Elkhart County 9-1-1 Center said T-Mobile, Sprint, and AT&T will be offering it soon.
 
Also this is available in Elkhart County and LaGrange County but South Bend Police said it is not available in South Bend and St. Joseph County.  Dijkstra said if you try to text 9-1-1 in an area where it's not available you will receive a "bounce back" text that tells you you can't use the service there.  And then you'll have to make a phone call.
  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Watch Sports Extra LIVE on FOX28 Friday Nights

    Watch Sports Extra LIVE on FOX28 Friday Nights

    It's that time of year again. As the sky dims the lights come on and it's time for High School Football. FOX28 is dedicated to bringing you the hits, fans and highlights of the night.More >>
    It's that time of year again. As the sky dims the lights come on and it's time for High School Football. FOX28 is dedicated to bringing you the hits, fans and highlights of the night.
    More >>
  • Why one High School laptop program is raising concerns about privacy

    Why one High School laptop program is raising concerns about privacy

    Some students at Penn High School may find a program on their new Chromebooks are violating their privacy rights.More >>
    Some students at Penn High School may find a program on their new Chromebooks are violating their privacy rights.
    More >>
  • Shots fired reported on Indiana Ave.

    Shots fired reported on Indiana Ave.

    Reports of shots fired in the 900 Block of Indiana Avenue has come into the FOX28 NewsroomElkhart Police confirm that an incident occurred at approximately 7:00 this evening. FOX28 will provide more information as it becomes available.More >>
    Reports of shots fired in the 900 Block of Indiana Avenue has come into the FOX28 NewsroomElkhart Police confirm that an incident occurred at approximately 7:00 this evening. FOX28 will provide more information as it becomes available.More >>
Powered by WorldNow

Fox 28

WSJV-TV FOX 28
58096 County Road 7, South
Elkhart, IN 46517

Switchboard: 574.679.9758
News Phone: 574.679.4545
Station Fax: 574.294.1267
Email: fox28news@fox28.com

All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service and Mobile Privacy Policy & Terms of Service.

Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at fccinfo@fcc.gov.