Lincoln County E911 announces new way to take emergency calls

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, April 23, 2024

BROOKHAVEN — People in need of emergency services in Lincoln County can do so without making a phone call. Lincoln County E911 Dispatch Supervisor Vicki Magee said they are now able to take emergency calls via text. 

She said they have finished up the training for the new service and tested the system with cellular providers. Lincoln County will now be able to answer 911 calls via text. 

“Some advantages of this new way to use 911 include the hard of hearing can text us, if you have a speech impediment it will help,” Magee said. “If you are in a bad cell zone, calls may get broken up but texts will always go through. Callers who might be in danger if they call can text us.” 

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The work to launch the new system started in December, EMA Director Chris Reid said. 

The new service is an expansion of technology already used at E911. Did you know E911 is able to send a text to your phone with a link to a software to provide live video footage to dispatch. The footage is then used to help coordinate the appropriate services for car wrecks, fires and medical emergencies. 

Lincoln County E911 also uses a software called Active Alerts to dispatch firefighters, law enforcement and KDMC to calls. 

Magee said she wanted to make it clear that the text system is under the same rules which apply to regular phone calls to 911. 

“It is illegal to use it or call 911 making a false report,” Magee said. “No one is able to send pictures, videos or emojis over the text system either.”