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Instead of calling 9-1-1, Taylor County residents can now text it in emergency situations

Posted at 6:21 PM, Feb 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-10 18:21:23-05

TAYLOR COUNTY, Fla. (WTXL) — What if we told you a simple text message could potentially save your life? Taylor County is now allowing people to text 9-1-1 in emergency situations, not just call.

In some emergency situations, being on the phone might be impossible. That's why the county made the change in hopes of saving lives.

Deputies at the Taylor County Sheriff's Office are on a mission to decrease crime and increase safety on the streets.

"Safety is our main concern with our department," said Lt. Gina Deeson with the sheriff's office. "That would be safety of our citizens or officers."

In January, the Sheriff's Office launched their new text to 9-1-1 option. Since then, TCSO's Communication Center has received a steady amount of people texting in for help.

Katie Morrison, the county's 9-1-1 coordinator, says a big part of that reason, is because of how easy texting is for people

"Someone texts 9-1-1 as if they are sending it to a number. It will tell you when they receive the text," Morrison explained. "It will say Taylor County has received the text. 9-1-1 dispatch will then get a notification."

Many people are thankful deputies introduced the new emergency option to the county.

"I feel like it's very convenient with modern technology we have now days and the advancements we have, I think it's really good," said Wyatt Russell.

"I think it's a great option. I think that if anyone can get to 9-1-1 fast, it will save lives," explained Victoria Edwards. "Plus I feel that everyone is so comfortable with texting."

When it comes to the best way to communicate with 9-1-1, deputies still suggest you call when you can. While texting is also a great option, it's not always the fastest.

We reached out to the 9-1-1 dispatch office in Tallahassee to see if they have plans of bringing the text to 9-1-1 option to the Capital City. We are hoping to hear back soon.