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    Oahu Military Installations join Island-wide Text-to-911 Service

    Oahu Military Installations join Island-wide Text-to-911 Service

    Photo By Petty Officer 2nd Class Johans Chavarro | 161013-N-IU636-105 HONOLULU (Oct. 13, 2016) A photo illustration depicts the...... read more read more

    Text-to-911 is an emergency service that is provided to all mobile users in the State of Hawaii. It allows someone to use their activated cell phone to contact the 911 center via text message instead of calling 911.

    “Given Hawaii’s unique and rural geography, technology advances, and the hearing/speech-impaired members of our community, it’s critical that we close the gap to ensure everyone has access to our first responders,” said U.S. Rep Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii. “The ‘Text-to-911’ service is a revolution in how we alert the authorities to emergent, life-or-death situations that do not allow for a caller to speak to a dispatcher, such as with home invasions, domestic violence cases, or active shooter scenarios. This new service will help save lives all across Hawaii. As one of only seven states to implement this program, Hawaii is leading the way in serving all members of our community.”

    Text-to-911 is not intended to serve as a replacement to traditional voice calling; rather, the service works to provide an outlet for those unable to speak while in an emergency. Such situations might be: where it is not safe to place a voice call to 911, while experiencing a medical emergency that renders you incapable of speaking or hearing, when unable to call 911 due to being in a location with sporadic cellular voice service, when unable to speak or hear due to injury or physical restraint.

    To use the service, persons simply need to send a text to the number “911,” like they would any other contact. From there, they will need to provide location, type of emergency (Police, Fire or Ambulance) and address, if known. Persons may also send brief messages, but are advised to use plain English, no emojis and no abbreviations.

    911 services for military installations will be processed at the Regional Dispatch Center, which according to John Freeland, director, Regional Dispatch Center, Navy Region Hawaii, provides all military installations with 911 emergency phone services.

    “Wireless cell phone providers have placed “call routing” towers throughout the island,” said Freeland. “When a call is made from an “on installation” cellular phone the call is routed to the RDC. The RDC Emergency Response Dispatchers process the 911 text (or call) message and dispatch the required emergency responders.”

    “As for “outside the fence” security, the services between Honolulu City and County Call Center and the CNRH RDC are connected and able to receive transferred calls. We also are each other’s back up call center, should one center fail receiving calls,” said Freeland.

    As technology continues to advance and text messaging continues to be one of the primary methods of communication today, Freeland said it too becomes important the RDC stays current and in line with social standards so as to augment current emergency response services.

    “As the communications technology evolves we too at the RDC evolve and keep consistent with the newest bells and whistles as time and money allows,” said Freeland. “We work with the Honolulu City and County Call Center and keep a “mirror” system. Using the text to 911 only enhances the service that has existed here for quite some time.”

    Freeland echoed statements by Hawaii City and County officials, underlining the importance in understanding that Text-to-911 is not a replacement for voice calling 911.

    “It is important that the military community understands that the Text-to-911 service is not to replace the voice call,” said Freeland. “The voice call is the preferred method for accuracy and any instructions that may be given by the call taker.”

    Text-to-911 can support plain text Short Messaging Services messages only and is limited to 160 characters per text. Pictures, videos and emojis currently cannot be processed. In addition, callers must have active wireless service including a text or data plan, and the device’s location service must be turned on. Text-to-911 may not be available if the wireless phone is roaming or outside of the provider’s coverage area.

    Consumers are advised to call 911 when possible because calling is a faster, more efficient way to relay an emergency, as the caller’s location isn’t automatically sent to emergency responders in a text.

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    Date Taken: 10.13.2016
    Date Posted: 10.17.2016 15:37
    Story ID: 211964
    Location: HONOLULU, HI, US 

    Web Views: 41
    Downloads: 1