Both T-Mobile and Verizon Wireless customers in Allegheny County can now text to 911 if they cannot make an emergency call, the county‘s Department of Emergency Services said in a news release Monday.
Verizon was the first to offer the capability, which Allegheny County Executive announced during a news conference last month. Since May 14, the county has received 57 text to 911 messages.
County officials warned last month, and reiterated in a news release, that people should only use the texting option when calling 911 in the usual way is not
The text to 911 service has been touted as a way to help people reach 911 services if they have hearing or speech impairments, or are in a situation where speaking on the phone would be unsafe.
If a Verizon or T-Mobile user does send a text message to Allegheny County’s emergency dispatch center, he or she should provide location information and the nature of the emergency, and should avoid using text message abbreviations or slang.
An automated message will bounce back if the text does not go through.
First Published June 23, 2014 12:00 AM