AUBURN, Ala. - The majority of the population is comforted by knowing that help during an emergency is just a phone call away. What if calling 9-1-1 isn't an option, though? For people in Auburn, AL, the ability to text your emergency to 9-1-1 is now a reality.
“It helps out a lot for situations where people may be in duress, or with a hearing impairment, or any type of situation where they can’t verbally communicate,” said Auburn Police Capt. Clarence Stewart.
Melinda Shonk with Montgomery Emergency Communications explains the process, “The operator will see an indicator on their screen that they are receiving an emergency text message. They will pull it up and begin to communicate with that citizen in just the same way that people communicate by text and they will process their emergency that way."
While texting may be necessary in certain cases, authorities want to remind the public that calling 9-1-1 is still the preferred method for reporting an emergency.
Text to 9-1-1 is currently available to about 80% of Alabama with the goal of 100% coverage by next summer.
Below are additional resources to better understand the text to 9-1-1 option.