Emergencies in unincorporated Contra Costa County can now be reported by text messages to 911, county sheriff’s officials said.
Sheriff’s office dispatchers can handle the texts, which can be made by sending them to 911 with the exact location of the emergency and whether police, fire or an ambulance is needed.
Sheriff’s officials said people should always make a phone call when possible to 911 during an emergency, but the text option is for people with hearing or speech impediments or for those who are unable to speak or in a situation where it is unsafe to speak.
The 911 text service is only available in English, is slower than calling 911 and may not be available in all areas of the county. People should not send any photos or videos and should answer questions and follow the instructions of the dispatcher, according to the sheriff’s office.