Ky. dispatchers take notice of 911 texting in Indiana - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Ky. dispatchers take notice of 911 texting in Indiana

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Verizon customers in Indiana are now able to text 911. Verizon customers in Indiana are now able to text 911.

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Local 911 centers across Indiana are now providing the public a new option of texting for help, and officials in Kentucky are taking notice.

Hoosier officials say this could be more helpful if the caller is deaf, has a speech impairment, is unable to speak due to a medical condition or in an unsafe situation, like a home invasion or abduction.

Already, Verizon customers are able to use the new option. Other cell phone providers are expected to jump on board.

Within the Shelby County, Kentucky dispatch center, people like Sheri Abshire are used to the many 911 calls.

“We here in Kentucky are certified EMD, we do emergency medical dispatching, so when you have an incident that is medical, you're able to give instructions over the phone,” said Shelby County dispatcher Sheri Abshire.

They say it’s only a matter of time until Kentucky has the same system in all counties.

“There are a lot of situations that people could get into where it would be the best way to contact help and save lives,” said Shelby County Deputy Judge-Executive Rusty Newton.

Although the option to text 911 is now available for some people in Indiana, officials say calling will always be more effective for a majority of people.

“There are other calls that I feel like I want to hear the voice. The voice tells you so much about what's going on -- what's going on inside the house, inside the environment,” said Abshire, who also says she would like to observe the new system underway in Indiana before Kentucky eventually follows suit.

“I think it would be very, very interesting and very helpful,” Abshire said.

Deputy Judge-Executive Rusty Newton says it's something he'd love to eventually see in Shelby County.

“It's just a matter of that becoming a reality in the state of Kentucky, and in order for that to happen, that's something that will need to go through the CMRS board out of Frankfort,” said Newton.

Verizon customers in some of our Indiana counties, like Clark, Scott, Jennings and Harrison, have been able to use the new system.

Other Indiana counties are expected to soon launch this program.

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