Ten Counties in Central Texas Enable Text-To-911 With Solacom’s Guardian Text
Capital Area Emergency Communications District (CAECD) can answer text messages like any other 9-1-1 call
AUSTIN, Texas, November 14, 2017 — One of the country’s largest regional 9-1-1 districts has enabled text-to-911 with Solacom’s Guardian Text. The Capital Area Emergency Communications District (CAECD) in Central Texas cut over its text-to-911 service for its 31 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) on October 4, 2017. With this service, over two million residents in the counties of Bastrop, Blanco, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Hays, Lee, Llano, Williamson, and Travis — as well as the state capital of Austin — now have a dependable way to contact 9-1-1 if and when voice calling isn’t an option.
Guardian Text, an integrated, full-featured short message service (SMS) function, seamlessly integrates into the Solacom Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling solution that the 219 PSAP positions in the CAECD have been using since 2013. The complete solution now provides customizable inbound and outbound text call management and control so that call takers can respond quickly and easily to all text-to-911 messages at all times.
At the desktop, text-based calls are handled like a regular voice call, with the same call management features and functions associated with voice calls. Beyond the desktop, the system can be configured to identify a text-to-911 call with a unique ring and present it clearly as viewable text on call taker display screens, along with call history and other relevant call information.
“Our call takers took to it immediately,” says Gregg Obuch, Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) emergency communications director. “We did text-to-911 the smart way. We didn’t have to invest in a costly standalone unit and we don’t have to worry about TTY-TDD machines garbling characters. The call takers didn’t even need hands-on training. We got a system that integrates seamlessly into our regular workstations. We also believe this is the most economical solution. It’s very exciting for us.”
Text-to-911 is a safety feature that is of particular importance to the capital area because of its sizeable deaf and hard-of-hearing population who attend a number of large educational institutions in Austin. Texting during an emergency could also be helpful for people with speech disabilities, or if a voice call might otherwise be dangerous or impossible.
All 219 PSAP positions in the District are now activated with Guardian Text on all four major cellphone service providers. Guardian Text seamlessly integrates with all the features of Solacom’s Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handing solution— the most flexible, user-centric voice, data, and video emergency call management solution for PSAPs — including Guardian Map and Guardian Management Information System (MIS).
“We are thrilled that CAPCOG has chosen Solacom Guardian Text,” says Tony Parrott, Solacom’s vice president of sales. “All it took was a simple add-on to their current Guardian 9-1-1 Call Handling system. They didn’t have to make an investment in new equipment and got a superior feature. In the long run, fully integrated text-to-911 is the best option for PSAPs that are ready to adapt to technological changes and standards requirements coming down the road.”
Solacom 9-1-1 call handling and management solutions are built on more than 30 years of research and innovation in the application of advanced hardware and software technologies for public safety. Today, Solacom Guardian 9-1-1 solutions support thousands of agencies affecting millions of lives annually. From dense urban environments to statewide deployments, Solacom solutions are trusted to streamline 9-1-1 call handling and management processes and enable more efficient collection of critical information in emergency situations. For more information, visit: www.solacom.com
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