Text-to-911 Now Available in Franklin County

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WTVN)--A system for 911 dispatchers to communicate via text message during an emergency is now available in Franklin County.

The county commissioners say it took two years for the service to get up and running, and works with any device that can send a text message. the service went online on Wednesday.

The system is designed to help those who are unable to speak, or need to stay silent in a threatening situation.

Franklin County Commissioner Marilyn Brown adds that calling is still better than texting, if possible. "Calling is better than texting because emergency dispatchers can get more immediate answers to questions from callers, listen for distress in voices, and learn background information that could assist first responders in a potentially life-threatening emergency, "she said.

When a resident texts to 911, the communication from the dispatch center begins with an automated reply, followed by a live dispatcher picking up the conversation. 

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