Clallam, Jefferson counties accepting texts to 911

PORT HADLOCK, Wash. (AP) — People in distress in Clallam and Jefferson counties can now contact emergency services by text message.

The Peninsula Daily News reports that as of Monday, anyone with a smartphone that has a texting plan can message 911 and text details of an incident to call centers in the two counties.

Emergency dispatch center directors say they prefer voice calls so they can acquire more information, but that text services will benefit many people.

People will hearing disabilities will no longer need special equipment to communicate and those in domestic violence situations will be able to discreetly ask for help.

A text to 911 in an area where the service is not available will result in an immediate bounce-back.