Text to 9-1-1 is now available in Benton and Franklin Counties.

In a press release provided by the City of Richland:

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Text to 9-1-1 provides another method of contact for the deaf, hard of hearing, or speech-impaired persons. In addition, it will assist those who are concerned about alerting others they are calling 9-1-1 such as in a home invasion, when in close proximity to an abusive partner, or if the caller is in a location where cell phone coverage is unreliable. While Text to 9-1-1 is available, the preferred method for those who can speak is to call.

If you need to text 9-1-1, you're advised to enter the location and type of emergency. Keep the text brief. Do NOT use emojis or special characters. Stay with your phone to follow instructions from dispatchers. Benton County Emergency Services has provided instructions below.

How to use Text to 911

Open your phone's text messaging program
Enter the numbers 911 into the TO field
Type your message, providing your address or location of the emergency
Stay with your phone and remember to keep it on silent if you are in an
unsafe situation
Answer all of the questions the best you can

***Important to note***

You MUST text in ENGLISH only. Language translation services are NOT available through text messages.

When using Text to 911, know your location, and do not attempt to send a video. Keep the message brief. Beware of auto-correct, as it may change your address and message.

You can watch more about Text to 911.

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