Buncombe County is now accepting text to 911 calls allowing persons who cannot dial 911 for whatever reason to make contact with emergency services by text message.
Once a person has contacted 911 via text message — asking for whatever assistance is needed –there will be a series of texts back to the person originating the text.
PLEASE NOTE: A text message will not give the location of the person originating the text. Latitude and longitude coordinates from the text originator will be given but this will require some time to determine where the text is coming from if at all.
The 911 operator will respond to the text by texting back:
“What is the exact location of your emergency”
“If you are safely able to make a voice call to 911, please do so instead of continuing to text.”
“If you are driving, please pull over to text safely”
“One moment, I will transfer your text to the agency that will be handling your emergency” (ie, fire, police, sheriff)
Jerry VeHaun, Director of Emergency Services, said that “This added feature to the County’s 911 system will give us greater flexibility to respond to the needs of our citizens and visitors as we continue to make our 911 system more and more efficient.”