31 Central Texas PSAPs Deploy Solacom Text-to-9-1-1 Technology
Tuesday, November 14, 2017 | Comments

The Capital Area Emergency Communications District (CAECD) in central Texas cut over text-to-9-1-1 service for its 31 public-safety answering points (PSAPs) Oct. 4 with Solacom technology. With this service, more than 2 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.

The text-to-9-1-1 solution seamlessly integrates into the Solacom 9-1-1 call-handling solution that the 219 PSAP positions in the CAECD have used since 2013. The solution provides customizable inbound and outbound text call management and control so that call-takers can respond quickly and easily to all text-to-9-1-1 messages at all times.

“Our call-takers took to it immediately,” said Gregg Obuch, Capital Area Council of Governments (CAPCOG) emergency communications director. “We did text to 9-1-1 the smart way. We didn’t have to invest in a costly stand-alone 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 9-1-1 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 the texting solution on all four nationwide cellphone service providers.

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