The Winchester Emergency Communications Center (ECC) recently received a grant in the amount of $150,000 to use for the implementation of Text to 911 technology and hardware updates. The grant was awarded by the Virginia E911 Services Board.
“Text to 911 is a fairly new technology that will provide the deaf and hard of hearing in our community an additional method to contact 911, as well as provide an additional method to contact 911 for a community that is more mobile now than ever before,” stated Erin Malloy, Director of Emergency Communications. “The idea will always be ‘call when you can, text when you can’t.’”
The Text to 911 system will cost $150,089, meaning the ECC will only need to cover $89 in expenses. The grant money is not available until July 2018, but Malloy hopes that the technology will be installed and in working order before December 2019.
Today marks the 50th anniversary of the first 911 call, placed in Haleyville, Alabama on February 16, 1968. Malloy attended the national 50th Anniversary of 9-1-1 Celebration in Washington, D.C. this week where members of Congress, public safety professionals, and the public gathered together to recognize 50 years of service by the dedicated Emergency Communications Specialists throughout the nation. More information about the event can be found on the official website.