Sprint latest to offer emergency texting in Durham

May. 12, 2014 @ 03:59 PM

Sprint customers in Durham can now text 911.
City officials on Monday announced that Sprint became the latest wireless provider to make it possible for callers in Durham to send text messages directly to the Durham Emergency Communications Center. Verizon customers have been able to do so since August 2011. In March, AT&T joined the texting service.
James Soukup, director of the communications center, said texting technology is designed for two types of emergency scenarios: When potential victims don’t want to be heard making a 911 voice call and when deaf or hard-of-hearing residents can’t speak to an operator.
Callers should keep the following in mind:
- Use texting only when calling isn’t an option.
- Be sure to include location information. Don’t use abbreviations or slang.
- Customers must be in range of Durham County cell towers.
- Texts are limited to 160 characters each.
- Text messages to 911 will count against messaging plans or be charged according to wireless plans.
- Use texting only for emergency situations that require immediate response from police, for or emergency medical services. For non-emergencies, contact the communications center at 919-560-4600.