State officials say by the end of the year, ALL of Iowa’s 9-1-1 dispatchers should be able to respond to text messages.
Iowa Homeland Security and Emergency Management director Mark Schouten says text-to-9-1-1 service already has been used in Iowa when a call would have put someone in danger.
Schouten, though, cautions a CALL to 9-1-1 is preferable because the dispatcher can get crucial information more quickly, like your location. Pin-pointing the physical address from which a text is sent is not yet perfected. If text-to-9-1-1 is not available in a city or county, a “bounceback” message will be sent.
All but 19 of them are able today to accept text messages from at least one cell phone carrier today — and Governor Kim Reynolds says the remaining 19 should be converted by December 31st.
Text-to-9-1-1 IS currently available in all of our area counties, including Buena Vista, Cherokee, Clay, Calhoun, Pocahontas, Ida, O’Brien, and Palo Alto.
Nearby counties where text-to-9-1-1 is NOT currently available include Plymouth, Monona and Webster.
(credit : Radio Iowa)