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Sanders County rolls out new 911 texting service - KPAX.com | Continuous News | Missoula & Western Montana

Sanders County rolls out new 911 texting service

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MTN News photo. MTN News photo.
MISSOULA -

Sanders County residents will now have the option to text 911 in case of an emergency.

The "Text-to-911" short messaging service allows Verizon, AT&T and T-mobile customers with texting plans to send a message to 911 dispatch.

Lieutenant Shawna Chenoweth with the Sanders County Sheriff's Office says this new option is not meant to replace calling 911, but is instead an extension of the existing service.

She says you should still call 911 if able for faster response, but adds in certain situations like a home invasion, or for use with hearing impaired individuals, texting 911 could be very beneficial.

"It just allows us the ability to reach people that are in outlying areas or up in the woods, and you don't have the ability to call 911 and you have the ability to text you can text into 911," Chenoweth said. 

The new service is now in the final stages of testing, and will officially launch for public use on May 1.  

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