Wahkiakum has text to 911 since 2016
February 6, 2020
To The Eagle:
An article in last week’s Eagle announced that Cowlitz County is the first 911 center in the state of Washington to have Text to 911. However, an important word was missing. It should have said that it was the first 911 center in the State of Washington to have “integrated” Text to 911 service, which means 911 texts are delivered through their 911 phone system. Wahkiakum County has had Text to 911 since July 2016 but uses a web browser-based system. Fourteen other 911 centers in the state of Washington use the same method as Wahkiakum of receiving 911 texts.
We are excited that Cowlitz County can now work in partnership with its neighbors during events that may cross borders from callers that can only text for help in an emergency. We currently have this capability with Pacific County and partner 911 centers across the river in Oregon. An important link now connects us through to Clark County and beyond.
An important note: Customers in Wahkiakum County who have T-Mobile, U.S. Cellular, and AT&T, have the capability to text the Sheriff’s Office 911 Communications. However, Verizon and Sprint customers do not, since they are roaming in our county and text to 911 is not available while roaming. In the future, Wahkiakum 911 may also go to an “integrated” solution, but regardless, Wahkiakum citizens should notice no change in the service provided.
And always remember, “Call if you can, text when you can’t!”
911 Coordinator for Wahkiakum County