DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas’ 911 operators are now able to receive text messages, making it easier for people to report an emergency.
The technology is already in place in many surrounding city and counties in North Texas.
It’s intended to help those who are unable to speak, either because of physical impairment or because of a situation where talking could put them in danger.
“I was thinking maybe I could reach somebody. Anybody,” said Candie Price, who was able to reach a 911 dispatcher in Hunt County by text two years ago.
Calling 911, she says, was never an option.
“If I would have called 911, I would have been shot dead right there,” she said.
Her first message read simply, “Help.”
“What’s your address?” the dispatcher responded.
In the exchange of brief messages that followed, Price was able to communicate that her ex-boyfriend had shot her three times and kidnapped her. She sent the messages while sitting next to him in an RV he was driving down I-30.
“I have deputies trying to find you,” the dispatcher assured her.
Price responded, “Thank you. Please kill him. Bye.”
Law enforcement officers did catch up, rescuing Price who jumped from the speeding RV and her two children who were released by the suspect before he killed himself.
Price says the ability to text with 911 was vital.
“If that connection hadn’t happened, a lot of things would be different, I can say that,” she said.
As more areas adopt the technology, she hopes it can save more lives.
The city of Dallas is asking residents to call 911 when possible and to rely on texting only when necessary.