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RACINE COUNTY – The county has launched text-to-911 service, providing another means for those experiencing an emergency to connect to help.

Effective immediately, anyone experiencing an emergency in Racine County is now able to send a text message to the Racine County Communications Center to relay information. However, officials note that a voice call to 911 is still the best option, as dispatchers can process the call much quicker and obtain a location.

The county’s emergency experts suggest using text-to-911 should be used in instances when voice calls are not possible. Examples include:

  • If a person is deaf, hard of hearing, or speech impaired.
  • If a person is in an area with poor cell coverage.
  • If a person may be in danger if someone hears them making a call.

The process of sending a text to 911 is the same as sending a text to anyone else. In the “send to” field, type 911 – no spaces, no dashes. In the message, write the type of emergency you are having and what you need, such as the fire department or an ambulance. It’s important to note that dispatchers cannot identify locations based on text messages, so make sure to include the street address and the city or town you are in. If you don’t know the address, provide a description of the location (i.e. a cross-street or landmark).

Keep messages short, do not include pictures or videos, and avoid abbreviations or text lingo, as that could add confusion and delay response. When you receive a follow-up message from a dispatcher, answer as quickly as you can.

“Our dedicated team is here for you, 24/7, 365 days a year. We encourage you to ‘Call if you can, text if you can’t,’” Jackie Bratz, Racine County Communications Center Director, said in a news release.

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Paul Holley is retired from careers in journalism, public relations and marketing but not from life. These days, he pretty much writes about what he feels like writing. You may contact him directly at:...