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Beverly Hills News – Text 9-1-1 for Emergency Services Has Arrived in Beverly Hills

Posted: Friday, December 1, 2017 – 1:01 PM

The Beverly Hills Police Department has announced their participation in a new service that allows mobile phone users to text 9-1-1 for emergency services, adding a crucial lifesaving link to community members who are hearing or speech impaired.

For BHPD, that means their Dispatch is now equipped to accept texts, and to respond in texts. In addition to helping those who are hearing or/and speech impaired, this service will also help those who are in situations too dangerous to make voice calls to 9-1-1.

“Call if you can – text if you can’t” is the new slogan developed by the Federal Communications Commission for the debut of this groundbreaking service in Los Angeles County.

“This advancement in technology increases public safety by offering expanded accessibility to our 9-1-1 center during emergencies when voice calls are not possible,” said Beverly Hills Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli. “In our era where texting is so prevalent, the ability to text to 9-1-1 will give the community another means by which to receive emergency services,” said Beverly Hills Fire Chief Gregory Barton.

Officials with the Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the California Highway Patrol, and the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services made the announcement on the campus of Cal State University Long Beach about the first Public Safety Answering Point in the state to accept texts.

The FCC has issued the following guidelines for texting 9-1-1:

  •   If you can, always contact 9-1-1 by making a voice call, “Call if you can – text if you can’t.”

  •   If you are deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech disabled, and Text to 9-1-1 is not available, use a TTY or telecommunications relay service, if available.

  •   If you text 9-1-1 and text is not available in your area, you will receive a bounce back message advising “text is not available please make a voice call to 9-1-1.”

  •   Location accuracy varies by carrier and should not be relied upon. Be prepared to give your location.

  •   Text to 9-1-1 service will not be available if the wireless carrier cannot ascertain a location of the device sending the message.

  •   Text to 9-1-1 is not available if you are roaming.

  •   A text or data plan is required to place a text to 9-1-1.

  •   Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1. They cannot be received at the 9-1-1 center at this time.

  •   Text messages should be sent in plain language and not contain popular abbreviations (SMH, LOL, ICYMI) or emojis, which will not be recognized.

  •   Text to 9-1-1 cannot be sent to more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1.

  •   Texts must be in English only. There currently is no language interpretation for text available. This is still in development.


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