Gov. Larry Hogan announces new text to 9-1-1 system
On Wednesday, Governor Larry Hogan announced a new text to 9-1-1 system that will allow residents to send short text messages to dispatchers around the state. The text to 9-1-1 supports 160 characters per message, but no photos or videos will be allowed to be sent. Officials say there is a clear importance of ensuring that all Marylanders have access to emergency services. They add that the system will give residents the ability to reach first responders when a call isn't possible.
"It could be very beneficial to those that might have an issue either with hearing or speech impediment but then you have individuals that might find themselves in a situation where they may not be able to safely make any phone calls but could get a message out via text that they need help," said Lieutenant of the Wicomico County Sheriff's Department Tim Robinson.
The Maryland school for the deaf in Frederick County was chosen for a pilot program to launch Text to 9-1-1. Administrators say they are thrilled to welcome this public safety tool for Maryland's 1.2 million deaf and hard of hearing residents and those with any other disability.