By CHRIS WOOD
For The Logan Banner
LOGAN - Logan County 911 will soon receive video calling and texting service, director Ted Spark told the Logan County Commission at its June 3 meeting.
Beginning the week of June 17, Logan County residents will be the first in the state to initiate video calling and texting if they call 911.
"I'm really excited that Logan County is leading the way in the state," Sparks said. "We are entering a venture with a company called Carbyne, and Carbyne provides a service like FaceTime ( a video chat app)."
The difference is that 911 will be able to send a link to a caller. Once the caller clicks that app, the call center gains video access.
"While you're on the phone with us, something happens or you can't talk anymore," Sparks said. "We can initiate a text while you can't talk. Let's go with a school shooting or some type of hostage negotiation. ... I'm going to send you the link, and you click on this link, and it allows you to share your camera with the 911 center."
Once contact is established, the 911 center can send the caller's location to first responders.
Through its venture with Carbyne, the Logan County 911 call center will also have greater access to Uber and Medical Alert.
"Whenever you call 911 from your Uber app, you'll get data where you were picked up or where the Uber driver was in case something bad was to happen," Sparks said. "We'll be able to have data delivered to the 911 center to let us know where everybody was deployed. That's information we can get out to the first responders. Also, whatever data that people provide for their Medical Alert bracelet, the 911 center will have access to it."
Even though a caller will soon be able to text 911, he or she cannot initiate a text with it. For now, only the call center can do that. However, a caller may be able to text the call center as early as August.