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You can now text 911 in and around Tulsa

Association of Central Oklahoma Governments

Text to 911 services have been introduced in Tulsa and surrounding counties.

Several cities in the area implemented the emergency texting system on Thursday, allowing SMS messages to reach first responders.

The new text option could help those who can’t speak over the phone, including in domestic violence situations.

It could also help those with disabilities who can't normally reach emergency services through a phone call.

"People who are deaf or hard of hearing can’t just pick up the phone and call 911, so this provides another option for them," said Wendi Fralick, the executive director of the Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges.

"It’s not just people who are deaf or hard of hearing, it’s even people with speech impediments," Fralick said. "I have a member here who has cerebral palsy. He is fabulous at texting, but he can’t get on a call and speak."

Those who text 911 should note that the service cannot process pictures, emojis or other non-text media.

According to the Osage County Sheriff's Office, the city of Tulsa, Tulsa County and the surrounding metro area (Bixby, Broken Arrow, Collinsville, Glenpool, Jenks, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa and Skiatook) have implemented the new feature.

Osage County has also implemented the feature, while Rogers County will get an upgrade to its existing text system.

Ben Abrams is a news reporter and All Things Considered host for KWGS.
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