Snohomish County joins Kitsap County as the two places in Washington State where you can now text 911 for help.
The report comes via King 5, which states, “The system is aimed at helping people in dangerous situations like a domestic violence call, home invasion or kidnapping where a call cannot be made. It’s also designed to help those with speech impairments.”
You can read more details at Snohomish County’s site which still encourages you to “call if you can, text if you can’t.” They say that the system recognizes carriers AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Verizon.
King 5 reports that “8,000 911 text messages were made to dispatchers across the state in 2014. They received no response because call centers were not properly equipped to handle them.” Texting 911 is available in only about 10 percent of counties nationwide, but hopefully it will roll out pretty fast.
Of course, since texting 911 is in its earliest stages, there are several things to remember. If you live outside these areas, it won’t work — but King 5 reports that the service is coming to King and Pierce Counties “soon.”
There are other crucial differences, too: You must have a data plan, it doesn’t work while roaming, and it won’t recognize your locale like a phone call. But still, this “enhanced 911” is a terrific idea.
Watch the full King 5 report below: