Governor Hogan Announces New Text to 9-1-1 System for Maryland
Upgrades State Emergency System Network with Life-Saving Technology
In February, Governor Larry Hogan announced the Board of Public Works' approval of a new Text to 9-1-1 technology for Maryland, helping to update 1960s-era emergency systems with life-saving technology and provide an alternative point of entry for Marylanders who require varying communication styles. This new Internet-based infrastructure allows citizens to send a Short Message Service (SMS) text message to 9-1-1. The Federal Communications Commission estimates that more than 70 percent of all 9-1-1 calls now come from cellular users.
"This new technology is a vital public safety tool that could potentially help save the lives of citizens who find themselves in an emergency situation," said Governor Hogan. "I want to commend the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services for their hard work to implement this system for all Marylanders."
Text to 9-1-1 supports 160 characters per message, but no multimedia messaging, such as photos or video. The Maryland Emergency Numbers System Board, under the Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services, is responsible for overseeing Maryland's emergency 9-1-1 system, including administering the 9-1-1 Trust Fund, which will fund the new technology.
"We are thrilled to welcome this public safety tool for Maryland's 1.2 million deaf and hard of hearing residents, those with a speech impairment, and anyone in an emergency situation where a voice call would be dangerous or impossible," said Kelby Brick, Director for the Governor's Office of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.