The Maryland Association of County Emergency Manager’s Emergency Communications Committee issued a press release Tuesday, February 27 regarding the recent announcement of Text to 9-1-1.
Five key takeaways from the press release:
- TEXT to 9-1-1 capabilities currently exists only in Frederick County, which has served as a pilot for this technology since 2013. At this time, TEXT to 9-1-1 will not function in any other location in Maryland except Frederick County.
- Maryland counties and Baltimore City operate the State’s 24 primary 9-1-1 Call Centers.
- As a result of the Board of Public Works’ action last week, county governments may begin a process of acquiring and implementing TEXT to 9-1-1 by joining the State’s contract with COMTECH/TCS. Counties and Baltimore City may also pursue contracts with other TEXT to 9-1-1 providers independent of the State contract.
- TEXT to 9-1-1, like any new service, will take time to implement fully. There are several issues that must be addressed before all of Maryland’s 9-1-1 Centers in Maryland will be able to receive and process their first 9-1-1 text message. These include call-taker training, equipment installation, and cell carrier coordination.
- TEXT to 9-1-1 availability in your county will depend on your county’s individual timeline. Even once available, 9-1-1 professionals recommend you only use TEXT to 9-1-1, if you can’t call.
The Maryland Association of Counties avocates for TEXT to 9-1-1 as part of it’s four legislative initiatives, Next Generation 9-1-1.
For more information regarding TEXT to 9-1-1, please contact Ross Coates, Facilitator, Maryland Association of County Emergency Managers, Emergency Communications Committee, 410-638-3409, firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information regarding MACo’s 2018 Next Generation 9-1-1 Legislative Initiative, contact Kevin Kinnally, 410-269-0043, email@example.com.