Beginning with the first full week of the New Year, two Nebraska counties will begin experimenting with taking 9-1-1 calls via text.
Douglas County in the eastern portion of Nebraska and Buffalo County in the center of the state launch the new service January 5th.
Buffalo County Sheriff Neil Miller says a call to 9-1-1 is still preferred, but a text works in certain situations and for certain people.
“This allows people who may have situations where they can’t speak or saying something might put them into a bad place, might endanger their life or those people from the hearing impaired or deaf community, giving them direct access to the dispatchers from their cell phone,” Miller tells Nebraska Radio Network affiliate KXPN.
Miller says only a couple of cell phone providers will offer the text 9-1-1 service at first. The county is working with the other providers to get them online shortly.
Brent Wiethorn, KXPN, contributed to this report.