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Indiana marks five years of Text-to-911 availability in all 92 counties
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Indiana marks five years of Text-to-911 availability in all 92 counties

911 dispatch center

Lake County 911 dispatch center

More than 1.2 million text messages to and from 911 operators have been sent in the five years Indiana's Text-to-911 service has been available in all 92 counties, officials announced Monday.

According to the Statewide 911 Board, the texting system enables direct access to emergency services for deaf and hearing-impaired Hoosiers, individuals unable to speak due to a medical emergency, and people in situations where it's too dangerous to make a voice call.

"The Text-to-911 system has evolved as being an integral part of 911 systems across the state," said Ed Reuter, Indiana 911 executive director. "It has proven to save lives and has helped provide another means of communication for emergency services."

Go on patrol with Aaron Crawford, a Cpl. with the Lowell Police Department, as he speaks about joining the force, DUI enforcement grants, and police Jiu-jitsu training.

Officials still recommend calling 911 since texting generally is slower than speaking and does not always provide sufficient information to the dispatcher.

But in situations where making a voice call is not possible, Hoosiers can send a short text message to 911 — without abbreviations, attachments or photos — to request emergency assistance.

Illinois last month awarded a contract to AT&T for a comprehensive upgrade of that state's 911 system, including the addition of Text-to-911 services.

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