Such was the case during a recent incident when a local woman was being threatened by her ex-boyfriend, who was driving the two of them away from the city.
The woman knew she could not verbally make a phone call or it would put her in deeper danger. The man was threatening her with bodily harm and the woman, not famililar with Waycross area surroundings, feared for her life.
But she remembered she had a “quiet” tool that she could use. She set her cell phone to the text program, typed in 911 and sent the message for help.
Within seconds, a 911 operator received a text asking for help. All of the operators on shift, Brandi Crews, David Bowers, Stephanie Campbell and supervisor Robert Deane, went to work checking the Global Positioning System (GPS) and attempting to locate the frightened woman.
Her text noted she was in a car with her ex-boyfriend who was angry and was threatening to hit her. She described the color of the car and noted they were in a highway construction zone.
Bingo! The Valdosta Highway.
Using the latest in technological environmental location equipment, Bowers began to tweak latitudes and longitudes and detected a westward movement of the vehicle.
The car was believed to be just past Manor.
The woman kept texting while Crews tried pinging the phone.
When they got the second text and once again checked the GPS coordinates, it was clear they were moving west on the Valdosta Highway so Ware County notified Clinch County to be on the lookout for the vehicle.
A Ware County deputy quickly made his way to near where they were and was able to pull the car over, move the woman to safety and arrest her attacker.
Waycross police and Ware County deputies, along with Clinch County lawmen all worked along with the 911 communications officers to bring about a desired result to the incident, said 911 director Lt. Faye Cooper.
“It was teamwork,” said Deane. “It is always about teamwork here.”
Deane and Cooper both want the public to know this technology is available if anyone is in a situation that would limit their ability to dial 911 and speak with an operator.
“BUT, call when you can, then text if you can’t,” said Cooper. “Our aim is to stay at the same speed. The system we used is the same system we use to communicate with hearing and speech impaired citizens. It’s been available a while. But technology continues to improve.”
Cooper commended her crew for being on the same page and working together to bring about a quick and safe end to a challenging situation and helping the woman to get out of an abusive incident that could have ended a lot different without the use of high-tech devices provided by the people of Ware County.
“We always prefer to talk with our callers, it goes much faster, but if anyone is in a circumstance where they can’t call but can text, then by all means text,” said Cooper.