As of Thursday, April 27, 2017
YAKIMA Need emergency assistance but don’t want to talk on the telephone because someone may be listening?
Well, now you can text 9-1-1.
SunComm, the dispatch service for Yakima County emergency services departments can now receive text messages for help.
Yakima County is partnering with other counties in offering the Text-to-9-1-1 emergency service.
Dispatchers still prefer those in need of assistance to call. So, those texting 9-1-1 will first receive a response message saying, “This is 911, if it is safe to make a voice call, please call 911.”
Officials said the next Text-to-9-1-1 will benefit residents and visitors who need to contact police but are worried about their safety if someone overhears the call.
The system will also benefit those who are hard-of-hearing or deaf, as well as those with verbal communication issues.
It may also help those who are in an area where cell service is intermittent or weak, officials said.
The new Text-to-9-1-1 system cannot receive images or other media.