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For Immediate Release
September 16, 2020
Kate Flavin


Key Upgrades Improve Text-to-911 System

(Sedgwick County, Kan.) – Sedgwick County Emergency Communications launched key upgrades that improve on the Text-to-911 emergency notification phone system.

The upgrade provides several key features, including the ability for 9-1-1 dispatchers to initiate text conversations, to initiate and receive texts in any language with an automatic translator, and the ability to utilize the what3words app to pinpoint caller locations.

Previously, Sedgwick County 9-1-1 Emergency Communications could receive text messages, but could not initiate text conversations. Now, in a 9-1-1 initiated text, users will see a 10-digit number that is unique to Sedgwick County 9-1-1. Elora Forshee, Director of Sedgwick County Emergency Communications cautions, “The 10-digit number is for dispatch initiated text conversations only. Texts that are initiated by the public to that number do not come through to our center and will go unanswered.  To initiate an emergency text to dispatch, it is still just as simple as texting the number 9-1-1. ”

The upgrade allows Sedgwick County Emergency Communications to request the caller to send their current GPS location, helpful in situations where someone is unable to provide an accurate location.  The system also now provides for input of location information as provided through the what3words app. What3words can pinpoint a caller’s location within 10-square feet, helpful for emergencies that occur in non-addressed locations or rural areas. 

“Sedgwick County Emergency Communications strives to stay on the cutting edge of 9-1-1 technology,” Director Forshee says. “Our focus is on providing any available platform to our community so that people who need help can get help quickly.”