By Melonie Flomer
January 05. 2015
ROCKINGHAM — Richmond County 911 now has the ability to receive text-to-911 messages through the four major wireless carriers — AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile.
Donna Wright, director of Richmond County Emergency Services, said the elements have been in place for text-to-911 enhancement since May 20, when her department had all its requests for public safety answering points ready for when the carriers begin testing in July.
At that time, the service was active only in Durham County and its sole provider was Verizon. The Federal Communications Commission required that all wireless carriers provide the capability by Dec. 31.
“The text works just like a wireless call and will provide us with the latitude and longitude of the origin of the text,” Wright told the Daily Journal last summer. “From there, we can use the device’s GPS to triangulate that location. Even if the person is moving or being moved, we can see it. And it works regardless of how a person has their device’s GPS settings configured. We can still see it.”