News 4 WTOP
By Kristi King | @KingWTOP
July 5, 2016 5:05 pm
WASHINGTON — Contacting 911 via text is ideal for the hearing impaired, but being deaf can make it more difficult to learn when something new like that is available.
Frederick County Emergency Communications is working with the Maryland School for the Deaf and its emergency management division to introduce its roughly 230 students and staff to the text to 911 system.
“We’re starting with the employees and working with them to be able to test the 911 and for them to be able to see how it works,” said Kristie Dutrow, administrator of Quality Assurance and Training for Frederick County Emergency Communications.
Frederick County’s text to 911 program began in 2013. It expanded to include AT&T, Sprint, Verizon and T-Mobile about a year ago. But Dutrow said the message about its availability wasn’t getting to some of the people most in need of the information.
Read more . . . Frederick County Emergency Communications
Maryland County to Offer 911 Texting for Speaking, Hearing Impaired
From CBS Baltimore 3/22/2013, and Fire Engineering 3/24/2013
Frederick County (MD) is one of the first jurisdictions in the country to offer the option to text 911, reports CBS Baltimore. It’s a standard greeting: “Baltimore City 911. Operator 1232. Where is your emergency?” But what if you can’t hear the question, or say where that fire is burning or where that ambulance is needed?
At Frederick County’s 911 center, they have expanded beyond voice communication. Verizon customers will have the option to text 911.
"It will be just like a chat session people may be familiar with, where both messages will pop up--the message from the caller and then the text we're typing to reply," said Jack Markey, Dir. Frederick County Emergency Management. "And we'll lead them through a series of questions to dispatch the appropriate resources."
Frederick County is an early adopter of this technology for a good reason. It is the home of the main campus of Maryland's School for the Deaf, where many on staff see a real need for texting 911. "And something happens and we can't help. We have to call someone, you know what I mean, we can't call," said Rex Moers, Dean of Students.
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