Officials look into texting 911 for help

The four major U.S. cell carriers are now forwarding 911 texts to emergency officials. (5/20/14)

WESTBURY - Residents may soon be able to text 911 instead of calling.

The move gives equal access to those that are deaf and rely on sign language or have speech impediments to get help.

The four major U.S. cell carriers are now forwarding 911 texts to emergency officials. But, only a few 911 centers nationwide can accept the texts right now.

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Nassau and Suffolk counties are both looking into accepting the 911 texts soon, as they don’t currently have the capability and texts are bounced back to the sender.

While they are not taking texts right now, emergency officials say that when they do, it might still be better to pick up the phone and talk to an operator. Officials say it gives a better sense of what is going on.

As of right now, neither county has an exact timetable as to when they might be able to accept the 911 texts.

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