The Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in Arlington County is getting ready to start a new service for911 emergency calls. In the coming weeks, residents of Arlington County and the City of Falls Church will be able to send texts for help instead of phoning directly. Anyone who has a mobile phone that allows SMS texting will be able to Text-to-911. We have had the technology to do this since it was first unveiled in 2010, but it has taken several years to implement and coordinate the system with other regional emergency systems. The county recently announced that training sessions for their operators have begun, now they just need the final launch date.
When text-to-911 begins, this will become an integral tool which can aid those in an emergency to get the help they need, if for some reason a call cannot be placed. The motto for texting by the OEM is Call if you can, text if you can’t. There are several instances when a text for help will work better than a call. These include:
Once Arlington County text-to-911 is up and running, we will join Fairfax County as two major regions in Northern Virginia that offer this option for emergency services. This is just one more innovative program that enhances our lives here in Arlington County.
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