Guernsey County took a big step in emergency services on September 30th 2020 by joining 20 other counties in Ohio to deploy Text to 9-1-1. The Guernsey County 911 Coordinator notified the Ohio 911 Program Office and the Federal Communications Commission of the status on September 28th 2020 and Ohio acknowledged the status two days later when they updated their website. Guernsey County becomes the first county in Southeast Ohio to go live with Text to 9-1-1.
Text to 9-1-1 provides very important enhancements to the current 911 System. Some examples of these enhancements are the ability for hearing impaired individuals to text with a 911 Dispatcher instead of having to go through a TTY service which adds to response time. Another example is if a person is unable to speak fearing that their location would be given away due to an intruder in their home or nearby. The victim can safely provide vital information to the dispatcher by text message.
Sheriff Paden states “We are proud to continue to serve Guernsey County Citizens with the best emergency services that technology can provide today. We will continue to investigate ways within technology and training to shorten the response time of first responders to emergency scenes. When it comes to people’s loved ones, we know that every second matters!”
The initial build cost and yearly fees for the Text to 9-1-1 service is paid for by the 911 Levy Fund. “Text to 9-1-1 is yet another example of how the 911 Levy has been utilized to give back to citizens in Guernsey County,” said Sheriff Paden.