Text-to-9-1-1 Program Saves Lives in Five Texas Counties

Text-to-9-1-1 Program Saves Lives in Five Texas Counties Main Photo

23 Aug 2023


The Heart of Texas Council of Governments’ award-winning Regional 9-1-1 Program has been a game changer for the Heart of Texas region throughout the years. Callers who are in danger and unable to make a voice call to 9-1-1 have the option to contact emergency services via a text message.  

The program supports five out of the six counties that HOTCOG serves: Bosque, Hill, Freestone, Falls, and Limestone. McLennan County has its own separate emergency communications district and is not included in the HOTCOG regional 9-1-1 program.

Our Role in the Regional 9-1-1 Program

HOTCOG was one of the first organizations to implement Text-to-9-1-1 programs. HOTCOG was able to support the Next Generation 911 (NG911) initiative with the deployment of an MPLS Private IP. The NG911 initiative involves making continuous
improvements to emergency services communication in both the United States and Canada while replacing the former analog 911 infrastructure.

Callers who are unable to make a voice call to emergency services can benefit from the Text-to-9-1-1 service. Through an IP network, callers can reach emergency services via text instead of voice call. Text-to-9-1-1 has helped people who have hearing and speech disabilities, people with medical emergencies, and people who are trapped in a dangerous situation where speaking out loud would put them in more danger.

Our Regional 9-1-1 Program funds all of the necessary equipment at the 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) within the region. The program provides essential training courses for all dispatchers. Our staff members work with the network providers to make certain that the equipment is routing 9-1-1 calls effectively and that the calls are routing to the appropriate PSAP in a timely manner. The staff also provides direction on budgeting, strategic planning, addressing and GIS.

“Our staff in 9-1-1 consists of only two people, but they do an outstanding job for all of the five counties they serve,” said Dorthy Jackson, Regional and Economic Development Manager of HOTCOG.

Project funding is appropriated through the Legislature based on the HOTCOG area’s population and allocated by the Commission on State Emergency Communications (CSEC). In total, the projects cost over $1.25 million.

HOTCOG Receives NADO Award for their Advanced Technology
Implementation to the Rural HOTCOG Region

In 2017, HOTCOG was a NADO Innovation Award recipient for their Regional 9-1-1 Program. Every year, NADO issues Innovation Awards to NADO members honoring them for their creative endeavors to stimulate regional economic development and enhance the quality of life for residents of their communities. Throughout the nation, these projects—including HOTCOG’s Regional 9-1-1 Program—have had a profound effect on their regions and illustrate the variety of services provided by regional development organizations.

Text-to-9-1-1 continues to help people throughout the Heart of Texas receive emergency assistance. Voice calls are still the fastest and best way to contact 9-1-1 for emergencies. Call When You Can, Text When You Can’t.  

Those interested can always visit our website to learn more about our Regional 9-1-1 Program. 

To send a Text-to-9-1-1:

Enter 911 in the text message recipient field.
Type your message.
Press send!