New numbers show that 911 dispatch centers in Minnesota are receiving an average of 326 text messages per month. Dispatchers answered 343 texts for help in March and another 365 texts to 911 in April. The stats are gathered by ECN on a monthly basis. Five months after Text-to-911 first launched, dispatchers say there is still a learning curve. A large number of people continue to text 911 to see if it works. Remember, texting 911 is the same as calling 911 and should only be used in an emergency. Also, people who text 911 should include their exact address. Location information is not as accurate with text as it can be with a call. While Text-to-911 is a primary contact option for deaf and hard of hearing Minnesotans, it’s also proved to be useful in other emergencies. In April alone, dispatchers received texts from people involved in domestic disturbances, assaults and suicidal situations. Learn more about Text-to-911 in Minnesota.
If you’ve ever tried to use your cell phone in an emergency or during a large event, you know service can be spotty or non-existent. Now imagine being a first responder and having to send and receive information over those same networks.That’s why the State of Minnesota finalized a contract with FirstNet and AT&T. The pair will build and deploy the nationwide public safety broadband network across Minnesota. Public safety agencies who sign up for the dedicated service will receive priority and preemption in an emergency, which means they’ll be able to get critical mission-driven information when it’s needed most. Learn more in our news release here.