Text-to-911 now available in Howard County

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HOWARD COUNTY, Neb. (KSNB) - Another Nebraska county is now offering Text-to-911 services.

The Howard County Sheriff's Office said this option is available in emergencies where the caller is unable to speak. Callers from subscribed cell phones can send emergency text messages to the 24-hour Emergency Dispatch Center.

Now this service is not a replacement for traditional voice calls.

Text-to-911 is intended for:
- Callers who are hearing or voice impaired.
- Medical emergencies that render the callers incapable of talking.
- When speaking aloud could put the callers in danger by perpetrators potentially hearing the conversations with a 9-1-1 operator, such as an abduction, a home invasion robbery, or a domestic violence situation.

Tips for Text-to-911 in an emergency:
- Provide the exact location of the emergency and describe what type of help is needed.
- Keep text messages simple, brief, and concise.
- Silence your phone if you don’t want anyone else to hear the incoming reply messages from the 9-1-1 operator.

The sheriff's office wants to remind users that traditional voice calls to 911 are the fastest way to get emergency help and should be your first option.