New 911 texting system goes live in Tulare County

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- People in Tulare County have a new way to reach emergency services. Now, in addition to calling, you can now text 911.

Visalia's police and fire departments already respond to 911 texts through their public safety answering point.

But now, county agencies can also receive and respond to emergency texts.

The Tulare County Sheriff's Office took the lead on rolling out the new technology.

Dispatchers can transfer texts to the agency best suited to respond to an emergency.

For example, a text about a structure fire will be forwarded to Tulare County Fire dispatchers.

When using this feature, officials ask that you avoid using emojis and include your name, location, and nature of the emergency.

"It's a new technology. We don't want people to be testing it out unless they really have an emergency. But we do encourage people to call if they can, text if they can't," said Tulare County Fire Capt. Joanne Bear.

Tulare County Sheriff Mike Boudreaux said he's proud to be able to provide this new resource to residents.

The same emergency texting service is also now available in Mariposa County.
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