Frederick County Explores Text-to-911 Service

County set to become the first jurisdiction in Maryland to provide the service

Thursday, Mar 21, 2013  |  Updated 9:15 PM EDT
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Frederick County officials are learning more about a service that allows some people to send a text to 911 operators when they have an emergency but can't call or speak. News4's Chris Gordon reports.

Chris Gordon

Frederick County officials are learning more about a service that allows some people to send a text to 911 operators when they have an emergency but can't call or speak. News4's Chris Gordon reports.

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Frederick County officials are learning more about a service that allows some people to send a text to 911 operators when they have an emergency but can't speak.

The Board of County Commissioners and Division of Emergency Management got a briefing on the service Thursday.

Because Frederick is home to the Maryland School for the Deaf, the Board of County Commissioners decided they need this new technology, News4's Chris Gordon reported.

“It allows us to not replace the traditional means of calling 911 but be an additional resource not only to those that ate hearing impaired but to our citizens in general,” board President Blaine Young said.

They demonstrated by texting "HELP."  They got the following reply: "Frederick County 911 what is the address of the emergency?”

“Text to 911 is where there really is no other option,” said Jack Markey of Frederick County Emergency Management. “One of those examples is storms where there can be congestion in the network.

The Frederick News-Post reports that the county is set to become the first jurisdiction in Maryland to provide the service, which allows people who have Verizon Wireless to text to 911.

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