FORT COLLINS, Colo. - Larimer County's 911 dispatchers can now receive text messages about emergencies with a tool debuted on Monday.
Larimer Emergency Telephone Authority 911 states that the "Text-to-911" system will be useful for situations where someone cannot speak, cannot get a reliable connection for a call or may be injured.
Anyone sending a "Text-to-911" is asked to make sure the first message contains the location of the emergency and the type of help needed. Call takers can then reply with questions and instructions.
Call takers ask that messages should not use abbreviations.
"Text-to-911" is compatible with Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile and Cricket in Larimer County. Outside of Larimer County, messages will receive an automatic reply if "Text-to-911" is not available there.
Photos and video cannot be sent via "Text-to-911."
Larimer and Pitkin are the only counties that currently offer the service.
One Larimer County resident has already used the service and said it worked perfectly for her.
Sarah McFaddin said she awoke to weird noises coming from another room in her home and sent a message using "Text-to-911" instead of calling to avoid making noise.
McFaddin said she was relieved when a dispatcher answered her texts until police arrived to search her home. The intruder ended up being raccoons, but she said the service worked as efficiently as calling 911.