Text to 911 now available in Massachusetts

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BOSTON — Text to 911 is now available throughout the commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Text to 911 allows those in an emergency to use their cellphones to contact 911 when they are unable to place a voice call; the Baker-Polito administration has supported making these system enhancements since 2015.

"This is a significant improvement to our 911 system that will save lives," said Tom Turco, state Public Safety and Security secretary, in a statement. "By giving those requiring emergency services this option, we are greatly expanding the ability of first responders to provide critical assistance to those in need."

To contact emergency services by text, enter 911 in the "To" field of cellphone and then type your message into the message field. It is the same process that is used for sending a regular text message.

It is important to include the town you are in and specific location information, according to the state.

"Text to 911 also provides direct access to 911 emergency services for the deaf, hard of hearing and speech-impaired, which is a service that these communities did not have access to until now," said Frank Pozniak, executive director of the State 911 Department.

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