“Text to 911” launches in San Diego County

The San Diego County Sheriff’s department has officially launched “Text to 911” technology in San Diego.

The announcement came on January 5th and the service includes the sheriff’s department as well as county fire and emergency medical services.

The Sherrif’s Department says that dialing 911 the old-fashioned way is still the quickest way to get help in the case of an emergency. However, they say that the new service will help in circumstances where a phone call isn’t possible, like during a medical emergency, and will also help people with hearing or verbal disabilities reach emergency services. “Call if you can, text ONLY if you can’t,” reads a tweet from the Sheriff.

Just like 911 calls, the “Text to 911” service is for emergencies only and intentional misuse of the system is a crime. The department also said that users should not use emojis, abbreviations, or acronyms, and images can not be sent via the service.