This past week I attended the NENA 2016 Conference in Indianapolis, Indiana.
One of the information Breakout Sessions was entitled “New, Now, Wow”. Rob McMullen ENP, the 9-1-1 Director from Vigo County, Illinois, was a member of this panel. Rob informed the audience that Indiana has implemented Text-to-911 statewide, 92 counties, a major accomplishment.
Rob provided the following “Text”data for the past 6 months:
- Statewide average- 1,400 inbound texts per month
- The County that includes the City of Indianapolis averages 1,000 of these texts per month
- The rest of the Counties average 20 texts per month
However, Telecommunicators (those amazing individuals who answer your 9-1-1 call) have started to use the outbound text feature to deal with both abandoned and, excuse the term, “butt dial” calls (averaging 16,000 calls per month statewide) placed to 9-1-1.
The telecommunicators have found that many times by sending a text such as, ‘Did you mean to call 9-1-1?” they will receive a response, whereas a phone call, in many instances, is not answered. People often do not want to speak with 9-1-1 and admit their error. Many times these calls will result in an unnecessary law enforcement dispatch for follow-up.
This feature is a major addition to Text-to-911 implementations. It may become a feature that Telecommunicators request, facilitating further adoption of Text-to-9-1-1 across the Country.