How One Text to 911 Saved A Massachusetts Man’s Life

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A Massachusetts police department responded to a 911 text message thanks to a new program and saved the life of a 23 year old man because of it.

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At SimpleTexting we’ve seen SMS used as a means to numerous ends. When we started this company our ultimate vision was to create something that inspired people to communicate in new and innovative ways. But every once in a while we hear a story involving text messages that causes us to stop dead in our tracks. It’s stories like this one that humble us to the power texting can have on our world.

In Randolph Massachusetts on Wednesday December 19th, one man is alive today because of a single text message.

The Story

The Randolph, MA Police Department recently welcomed a new text-to-911 program. While they don’t use the SimpleTexting platform, we’re always excited to hear about texting being used to improve communications. The text-to-911 program runs statewide and, as the name implies, it enables 911 dispatchers to receive text messages in addition to traditional emergency calls.

Five days after the program’s soft launch, Officer Scott Sherman, who was staffing the dispatch center at the time, received the text message: “I no longer have any reason to live.”

Instantaneously Officer Sherman dispatched two officers to the address the text was sent from. When the officers entered the residence they found a 23-year-old male unconscious hanging in a bedroom closet. He still had a pulse.

Thanks to the officer’s quick response and the man’s bravery in reaching out, he is stable and alive today.

Benefits of Texting 911

The need for a discreet ability to contact 911 is not necessarily a new concept.

In 2014 a story went viral detailing a woman calling 911 to order a pizza. In this story, the woman calling is really trying to get officers to her house discreetly due to a domestic violence issue. While later determined to be fictional, the underlying sentiment has some serious merit to it.

In the instances of intrusions and domestic violence, a victim may not be able to physically talk. In that case the ability to contact police via text message could become a silent savior.

We’ve got our eyes on this story and many others. It’s our hope that the power of text messages continues to bring positive change to the lives of people, in ways large and small.

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