Muskogee City-County 911 officials look to add emergency text system for residents

Muskogee City-County 911 Coordinators are looking for new ways to make emergency help available to all it's citizens.

Darryl Maggard has started to explore the possibility of adding a 911 text system to dispatch. Muskogee would be the first to offer this type of emergency notification in the state.

“A text would come in to the 911 console just the way a voice call rings,” he said.

The dispatcher would then communicate with the texter to try and locate them and figure out what their emergency is. But funding is the biggest hurdle for Maggard right now.

The dispatch system is already equipped with the text system; now they just need a network to be able to receive those texts, Maggard said.

“The residents need a second method,” he said.

Maggard says the system could come in handy during a natural disaster when voice call lines are busy.

“I hope that by next year at this time, we can be showing you how we got it up and running here,” he said.

Tulsa's 911 Center coordinator Terry O'Malley says they too have been exploring the possibility of getting the text system, but the city simply cannot afford it.

O'Malley adds voice calls are currently the best and fastest way to get help during an emergency. She estimates adding the text capabilities would cost upwards of $100,000.

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