County rolls out system to respond to 911 texts

PONTIAC (AP) - Oakland County has rolled out a system to allow people to text 911 in an emergency.

The sheriff's department says the system was fully implemented this month. In most of the U.S., calling 911 is the reliable way to get emergency help from police, fire or emergency medical services. Some dispatch centers, however, are catching up with texting.

In a statement, Sheriff Michael Bouchard says officials "are encouraging residents to call when they can and text when they can't." At this time, the sheriff's department says only Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint customers can text to 911.

The text-to-911 service works like any text conversation, with the 911 operator using a web browser to respond within seconds.

Published: Mon, Feb 09, 2015