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Need To Get Help But Can't Call 911? Now You Can Text

06 Décembre 2017

"Imagine having to hide from an intruder in your bedroom closet or witnessing a domestic violence situation", said DPS-ECN Director Jackie Mines.

People in need of police, fire or emergency medical help have a new way to ask for it in Minnesota - they can text 911 on their mobile phones instead of calling. Dispatchers have had extensive training on the new text system.

"Text-to-911 will help people with hearing loss who at times in the past have depended on friends, family members and even occasionally strangers to get in touch with 911 dispatch for them", said Sittner-Anderson, using sign language.

Anne Sittner-Anderson with the Commission of Deaf, Deafblind and Hard of Hearing Minnesotans said the new service will benefit the 20 percent of Minnesotans with some form of hearing impairment.

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"The communication barriers they experience are frightening, when seconds matter most in an emergency", Koehler said. Dispatchers at all of the state's 104 emergency dispatch centers have been trained on the texting technology.

The text service should only be used in emergencies, officials warn.

If you accidentally send a text to 911, send another text, or call 911 to let the dispatcher know there is no emergency. Texting 911 with a false report is a crime.

Need To Get Help But Can't Call 911? Now You Can Text