For the past 3 years, HLAA - Chattanooga (Hearing Loss Association of America) has been contacting our local 911 Center about "texting to 911." Our local center had the equipment all ready to go - but the details with the phone carriers (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, etc.) had not been worked out.
Last summer, Partnership Services for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing, hosted Senator Todd Gardenhire, District 10, along with representatives from the 911 Center, John Stuermer, Executive Director and Jeff Carney, Director of Operations. At this community event, the Senator listened and asked us all to write letters to our representatives expressing our need for services. All this time, the Senator has been working behind the scenes to resolve issues.
It was announced at the monthly HLAA meeting on Sunday, May 19th, by the Senator, John Stuermer, and Jeff Carney, that Hamilton County 911 Center can now receive texts for help to 911.
Right now, this service is available only in Hamilton County. When you text - you cannot send pictures, videos, emoji's. Only text words. Do not use abbreviations (not TY - but "thank you" ; not BRB - but "be right back"). You will be asked your name, your location, your emergency. Right now this service cannot find your location. That is why it is important to know where you are so you can give those details.
We will be hosting a tour of 911 Center so that we can see how this will work. And we have invited Senator Gardenhire back so that we can all thank him and the people at 911 Center and let them know how much we appreciate their hard work. As soon as the date is set - we will let you know.