Help, Just a Text Away

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CHAMPAIGN – Texting 9-1-1 is a brand new option for residents in Champaign County.

In many emergencies, contacting 911 can be a challenge, especially during domestic disputes. 

Champaign Telecommunicator Hanna Moody said, "We have a lot of domestic situations where you know it will make the situation worse if the other person knows they’re calling."

And for those who are hard of hearing and have impaired speech, contacting help can be difficult.

METCAD Deputy Director Greg Abbott said, "We have a large speech and hearing impaired community here, so we thought it was the right thing to do for our citizens."

Now by just sending a message of distress to 9-1-1 in the "to" box on your message screen, you are immediately in contact with a 9-1-1 dispatcher. 

Abbott said, "There’s no doubt in my mind that this will end up saving lives down the road."

The software start-up was less than $1,000 for the city and Champaign County is only 1 of 6 counties in Illinois who have been able to implement this program. 

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