'Call if you can--text if you can’t,’ McLennan County 911 system says

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WACO, Texas (KWTX) McLennan County’s 911 system has implemented text to 911 services for the entire county, the McLennan County 911 Emergency Assistance District said.

(File)

The four major carriers, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon, have implemented the technology and their customers may now send a text of no more than 140 characters to 911 in an emergency.

“Text to 911 should only be used in an emergency situation and only when placing a voice call is not possible,” the district said in a press release.

“’Call if you can -- text if you can’t’ is the slogan currently being utilized in McLennan County and other communities across the country that have implemented the service,” the district said.

The district plans to launch an educational campaign about the new feature and its use.

“The primary benefit will be improved access for deaf, hard of hearing and speech impaired (residents,” the district said.

Important information about the text to 911 service

• Do not text and drive.
• Text location information is not equal to current location technology.
• When sending a text to 911, do not include dashes or any other special characters.
• In the first text message send the location and type of emergency.
• Text in simple words- Do not use abbreviations or slang.
• Be prepared to answer questions and follow instructions from the 9-1-1 call taker.
• Photos and videos cannot be sent to 9-1-1 at this time
• Text to 9-1-1 cannot include more than one person. Do not send your emergency text to anyone other than 9-1-1

(Source: McLennan County 911 Emergency Assistance District)