VERNAL — Residents of Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett counties can now text 911 on their cellphone in an emergency and be connected with a 911 dispatcher.
According the Utah Department of Public Safety’s Uintah Basin Communications Center, texting 911 gives emergency dispatchers the capability to communicate with those who find themselves in a position where they are unable to call 911 because doing so might expose the caller to greater danger.
Cases of abuse, burglary, robbery, or even an active shooter situation have been successfully reported across the country by callers who have been able to text 911 without tipping off a suspect.
Officials with the center said speaking directly with a 911 dispatcher is always the best and fastest way to get help in an emergency or to report a crime in progress. They also said the new service will also benefit the hearing impaired residents of the Uinta Basin.
The new service covers all incorporated cities and unincorporated areas in Duchesne, Uintah and Daggett counties.
For those who need to text 911, the center offers this advice:
• The first text message should be brief and contain the location of the emergency and type of help needed.
• Don't forget to push the “Send” button.
• Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 911 call taker.
• Text in simple words — do not use abbreviations.
• Keep text messages brief and concise.
• Text-to-911 messages cannot be sent to another person at the same time.
• A text or data plan is required to send a message to 911. Regular texting rates will apply.