On behalf of the Board of Miami County Commissioners and the Miami County Communication Center Board of Directors, the Miami County Communication Center is pleased to inform the citizens of Miami County that it is now possible to Text-to-911. This added ability to communicate with the public in time of emergency will provide citizens an additional means to summons assistance when circumstances warrant texting rather than placing a voice call. For example, an intruder is in a house and a voice call might give away the caller’s position. In addition, it will allow the hearing impaired to contact 911 from a cell phone, rather than a landline based telephone with an additional device.
While this technology is beneficial in certain circumstances, voice calls are preferred whenever possible. Obtaining and verifying information can be done more quickly through a voice call. Furthermore, Telecommunicators can gain valuable insight into situations by hearing the tone of the caller’s voice and listening to background noises through voice calls. This ancillary information can be very valuable to first responders and potential victims, as it helps the 911 center staff determine the urgency of the situation and the proper response.
The aforementioned boards approved recommendations to utilize Wireless 911 Assistance Funds that are received through the State of Ohio from a surcharge placed on wireless phones that are listed as being based at a Miami County address. The Motorola CallWorks system was purchased last year at a cost of $312,411.00. Additional costs for maintenance of the phone system and networking to the four major cell carriers, to be able to receive Text to 911 messages, are also paid for through this fund.
“Making our citizens safer is always our goal in Miami County. Adding the ability to text 911 is another step forward in protecting our citizens. We will strive to continue to keep up with technological innovations as the communications market place evolves.” John W. “Bud” O’Brien, Miami County Commissioner and Chairman of the 911 board.