What if a 911 caller is deaf, or hearing/speech impaired?
Roscommon Central Dispatch has multiple technologies available to communicate with the deaf and hearing/ speech impaired. Historically such communications have taken place via a relay center or direct via TTY/TDD equipment. TTY/TDD equipment will remain in place as long as required but this technology is slowly fading into history.

Roscommon Central Dispatch also has Smart911 which allows us to communicate via text message with cellular phones. It does not allow us to receive 911 calls via text message. Instead, 911 can start a text conversation with any active cell phone. The process would work like this: An individual places a 911 call via an active cell phone. That call is received at 911. The 911 dispatcher will attempt verbal communication with the caller. If there is no verbal response, it sounds as if speaking is impractical or unsafe, or the caller says they must text to communicate, the dispatcher will then start a text conversation. Callers should take whatever measures they must to ensure their safety during this process such as exit a burning building or hide in a safe place during a break-in.

Communications centers that answer 9-1-1 calls have special text telephones for responding to 9-1-1 calls from Deaf or hearing/speech impaired callers. If a caller uses a TTY/TDD, the caller should: stay calm, place the phone receiver in the TTY, dial 911. After the call is answered, press the TTY keys several times. This may help shorten the time necessary to respond to the call.

Give the call taker time to connect their TTY. If necessary, press the TTY keys again. The 911 call taker should answer and type GA for Go Ahead. Tell what is needed-police, Fire Department, or ambulance. Give your name, phone number and the address where help is needed.

Stay on the telephone if it is safe. Answer the call taker’s questions. If a deaf or hearing/speech impaired caller doesn’t have a TTY/TDD, the caller should call using a cellular phone or the relay center for assistance at 7-1-1.

Show All Answers

1. Can I text 911 for help in Roscommon County?
2. What is 911?
3. How does 911 find me?
4. What if a 911 caller is deaf, or hearing/speech impaired?
5. Does it cost money to call 911?
6. What's the rule regarding prank or repeated accidental 911 calls?
7. How do I make a 911 call?
8. What if the 911 caller doesn't speak English?
9. When should you use 911?