The Yuba City Police Department announces today that the Communication Center is now capable of receiving Text-to-911 messages. Callers from the incorporated area of Yuba City who have a data plan for their cellular phones can send emergency text messages to our 24-hour Emergency Communication Center. The new service is especially designed to help those who are deaf, hard of hearing or speech impaired, or who might be unsafe if they were to be heard by an intruder or abusive partner.
“This is an important day for some of our most vulnerable residents that are not able to make a voice call in an emergency,” said Tawnya Smallwood, Yuba City Police Department Communication Center Coordinator. “We are proud to have coordinated to bring this much-needed emergency communications tool to residents, businesses and visitors to the incorporated area of Yuba City,” said Lieutenant Jim Runyen of the Yuba City Police Department. “While this new texting service is available to the public, I want to remind everyone that calling 9-1-1 remains the most effective method to access emergency personnel.”
Text-to-911 does not replace calling 9-1-1, but the option is intended for:
· Callers who are hearing or voice impaired.
· Medical emergencies that render the callers incapable of talking.
· When speaking aloud could put the callers in danger by perpetrators potentially hearing the conversations with a 9-1-1 dispatch operator, such as an abduction, a home invasion robbery, or a domestic violence situation.
Tips for Text-to-911 in an emergency:
· Open a blank text box and in the “To” box type 911. No dashes.
· In the body of the text provide the exact location of the emergency and describe what type of help is needed (Police, Fire, or Medical).
· Keep text messages simple, brief, and concise with no slang words or terminology.
· Do not send emoji’s, photos, videos or group text.
· Silence your phone if you don’t want anyone else to hear the incoming reply messages from the 9-1-1 dispatch operator.
· Do not Drive and Text.
Traditional voice calls to 9-1-1 are still the faster way to reach emergency help and should always be the first option. The Yuba City Police Department is excited to offer Text-to-911 as a back-up option and to remind you to call 9-1-1 if you can, Text if you can’t. For more information go to; www.yubacity.net/text911 .