Text-to-911 not yet available in Champaign County

Text-to-911 not yet available in Champaign County

URBANA — Officials with the county's emergency dispatch center want to remind residents that a text-to-911 service is not yet available in Champaign County. Anyone with an emergency should place a voice call to 911.

In a news release, officials said there was confusion over an announcement this week that a number of cellphone service providers had voluntarily committed to provide text-to-911 service in all areas served by their networks. Those service providers are AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, according to the release.

The problem is that the Champaign County dispatch center is not yet equipped to receive 911 text messages. Residents still need to call to reach a 911 operator.

According to the release, dispatch center officials have been working with vendors to assess their equipment needs and costs for the text-to-911 service.

Deputy Director Greg Abbott said in the release that officials expect to have the text service available in 2015.

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