• Providing location information and nature of the emergency in the first text message is imperative, since the Indiana communications centers will receive only an approximate location of the cell phone and will not be able to speak with the person sending the text. Text abbreviations or slang should never be used so that the intent of the dialogue can be as clear as possible;
• Customers must be in range of cell towers in the area. If they are outside or near the edge of a county, the message may not reach the Emergency Communications Center;
• Texts sent to 911 have the same 160-character limit as other text messages;
• Those who use Usage Controls should remove this feature to ensure full text to 911 capability;
• Customers must have mobile phones that are capable of sending text messages;
• The solution is available for customers who use the SMS provided by Verizon Wireless. It is not available for third-party text messaging applications that can be downloaded to the phone or for applications that do not use SMS technology;
• The texting function should only be used for emergency situations that require an immediate response from police, fire or emergency medical services. Non-emergency issues should still be communicated to the local municipalities’ communications centers through their non-emergency lines; and
• SMS911 should only be to communicate between emergency help and the texter with no pictures, video, other attachments or other recipients appended to the message.
Additional information is available at www.in911.net and www.textty.com.