(603) 223-4235 | DESCPIO@dos.nh.gov
NH 9-1-1 – Updated ‘Text-To-911’ Solution Launches on August 31, 2021
'Texty' Provides New Hampshire with additional tools to locate and communicate 9-1-1 text emergencies
Concord, NH – New Hampshire first implemented a 'Text-to-911' solution in February 2015, giving residents and visitors to the state the ability to text 9-1-1 for emergencies in which speaking may not be possible (i.e. intruder, domestic violence emergencies, deaf/hard of hearing community, and medical emergencies such as choking). The original solution was efficient but had limitations; for example, 9-1-1 could receive and respond to text messages as long as the text came through to 9-1-1 first. If the text session was disconnected, the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator could not text the person back. Instead, the texter had to text 9-1-1 again to reestablish the connection. In addition, the original solution did not have an integrated mapping solution. Triangulation from the cellular tower closest to the texter provided data that often gave a general area, but not an exact location. The 9-1-1 Telecommunicator relied on the texter to provide the exact location of the emergency.
The new solution, 'Texty,' by INdigital, has several improvements over the previous solution, including more information and better location data. It allows 9-1-1 Telecommunicators the ability to send outbound texts messages; this can be extremely helpful for situations where there is poor cellular reception in an effort to keep the communication link open. Included in Texty is RapidSOS, which provides integrated mapping for text messages based on the exact location of the phone by using the 'Enhanced Location' feature within the software. 'Texty' provides 9-1-1 with the texter's cell phone carrier as well as the latitude and longitude of the phone handset. Even though the system will provide better location information, it is vitally important that the person texting 911 provide the exact location of the emergency to include the entire street address, apartment or unit number, as well as the town. If not at an addressed location, such as a park, provide as much information as possible such as what town it is in, landmarks, or street names, or business names that are in the area. Beyond the 9-1-1 call center, local dispatch agencies throughout New Hampshire will have the opportunity to receive transferred text messages from the 9-1-1 call center via Texty. Once transferred from 9-1-1, local dispatchers can text directly with the texter. The dispatch centers that have the texting solution will also have the ability to initiate outbound text messages to cell phones as well. It is important to note that if the 9-1-1 Telecommunicator or the local dispatch agency initiates the text message, no location information will be populated, so it is important that the individual that needs help always initiates the message.
New Hampshire 9-1-1 continually strives to stay current and equipped with the most up to date technology. The safety of New Hampshire residents and visitors is our mission – to locate, communicate and connect people in an emergency with the help they need.
Call 9-1-1 if you can, text if you can't. New Hampshire 9-1-1 will always be here to help the citizens and visitors of New Hampshire.
Visit INdigital to learn more about 'Texty.'