Since 2017, 9-1-1 centers in Round Rock and the entire capital region are able to receive SMS text messages.
If you can’t call 9-1-1, then you can text to 9-1-1 if your phone or smart device uses one of the four major cellphone service providers —Verizon Wireless, AT&T Mobility, Sprint and T-Mobile.
Text to 9-1-1 is especially beneficial to those who are hearing- or speech-impaired, but residents should only text 9-1-1 when calling 9-1-1 is unsafe or not possible. Examples include when:
- Callers can’t speak due to a threat, illness or medical condition
- Callers have poor reception and can only send text messages
- Phone lines and cellphone towers are overwhelmed, and only texts can get through
There are some important things to remember about Text to 9-1-1, said Leigh Carrico, the Round Rock Police Department’s Communications Manager.
“Residents need to remember that Text to 9-1-1 does not automatically give us a location,” Carrico said. “Also, if you don’t get a response, your text might not have gotten through. It’s important to remember to call when you can, and save texting 9-1-1 for when you can’t.”
The service is available for Williamson County, as well as Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, and Travis counties.
Additional details on the new service area available from the Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG), which unveiled the new service Oct. 4, 2017.