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911 texting service available in four counties

By Christie Dutton
Four Kentucky counties can now text 911 during an emergency situation, but only if a voice call is not possible or safe.

Fayette, Jessamine, Garrard and Lincoln counties are currently using the text-to-911 service. Emergency officials say that the texting service should only be used when a voice call is not possible. 

"Call if you can; Text if you must," Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government Information Officer Amy Wallot posted on the Nextdoor app. "The public should only text 911 if it is the only option and making a voice call to 911 isn't possible."

Being able to text 911 will be useful for those who are non-verbal, hearing or speech impaired or if the caller is facing a domestic violence situation. This new service will allow residents to text a message to 911, if calling isn't an option, and the 911 call center operator will be able to text a message back. 

AT&T, Sprint, T-mobile and Verizon support the service.