FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
New “Text to 911” Service Launched
Contact: Susan Lilly, Public Information Officer 970-729-2028
July 7, 2016 -- (San Miguel County, CO) – Regional public safety officials have launched a “text to 911” service effective immediately for San Miguel County. This includes San Miguel County Sheriff’s Office, Mountain Village Police Department, Telluride Marshal’s Office, Telluride Fire Protection District, Egnar Fire Protection District, Norwood Fire Protection District and Norwood Marshal’s Office.
The web-based service allows wireless subscribers to send SMS or text messages to 911. The text will be routed to the appropriate dispatch center based on the person’s location. Voice calls are still preferable as they allow for instant interaction with the dispatcher with no delay. Bottom line: call if you can, text if you can’t.
Text to 911 in the east end of the county will be routed to WestCO dispatch in Montrose, and the Norwood areas will be routed to San Miguel County Communications. Dispatchers will see a geographic display of the person’s location and will be able to communicate via text.
Sheriff Bill Masters said this is a significant improvement to the 911 call center. “Any time we can make it easier for the public to reach a 911 dispatcher, it’s an improvement to public safety.”
To use the new “Text to 911” system, simply put “911” in the “To” field and type your emergency message. No “app” is necessary, and there should not be a charge from your cell carrier.
Note some cell carriers may not have towers in the area. This will result in a bounce back message to the phone advising to reach 911 using a voice call.
The San Miguel Sheriff’s Office, located in Telluride, Colorado and established in 1883, serves 7,800 residents and countless visitors across the 1,288 square miles of San Miguel County. Sheriff Bill Masters has been serving as the county’s elected Sheriff since 1980.