Northern Illinois county to allow residents to text 911

Posted:
JOLIET - A northern Illinois county will soon allow its residents to use their cell phones to text 911.

According to Will County officials, residents who have cell phones will be able to text dispatchers through one of six county dispatch centers.  However, officials say the service will only be available to users who get their service from a major cell phone carrier, like AT&T and Verizon.

An administrator for Will County's emergency telephone system board says the change will be phased in slowly, first focusing on hearing-impaired people before moving to schools and eventually the general public.  Caryn DeMarco, a public education coordinator for the board, says the ability to text emergency dispatchers is a step forward for hearing-impaired and deaf people.
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