HAMILTON COUNTY, Ind. (WISH) – Authorities in Hamilton County say they will be evaluating how other counties in Indiana are handling the text to 911 system before adopting it in their county.
According to a release, the Federal Communications Commission recently mandated that wireless communications carriers implement the text to 911 feature and require that it be accomplished by May 15. Officials say because it was announced so quickly, there has been little testing of the system’s functionality or its impact on computer systems and dispatchers.
Hamilton County authorities say, rather than rushing into the new feature, the county’s communications center will monitor data from other counties to better determine what kind of technology and staffing will be needed.
Other Central Indiana counties, including Marion County, have taken the same stance.
Officials say once text to 911 is adopted in Hamilton County, it should be used only as a last resort when there is no opportunity to make a call.
Using a cell phone does provide some challenges, because they are not tied to a specific address or location, so people should be prepared to provide a location if using wireless communication in the event of an emergency.
Hamilton County expects to start the text to 911 service by mid to late summer. People should continue calling 911 in the meantime. If you send a text now, you’ll get a message saying to call 911.