© 2024 Public Radio Tulsa
800 South Tucker Drive
Tulsa, OK 74104
(918) 631-2577

A listener-supported service of The University of Tulsa
classical 88.7 | public radio 89.5
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

You can now text 911 in Green Country

Association of Central Oklahoma Governments

Several cities in Green Country implemented an emergency texting system on Thursday, allowing SMS messages to reach first responders.

The new text option could help those who can’t speak over the phone, including in domestic violence situations.

It could also help those with disabilities who can't normally reach emergency services through a phone call.

"People who are deaf or hard of hearing can’t just pick up the phone and call 911, so this provides another option for them," said Wendi Fralick, the executive director of the Center for Individuals with Physical Challenges.

"It’s not just people who are deaf or hard of hearing, it’s even people with speech impediments," Fralick said. "I have a member here who has cerebral palsy. He is fabulous at texting, but he can’t get on a call and speak."

Those who text 911 should note that the service cannot process pictures, emojis or other non-text media.

According to the Osage County Sheriff's Office, the city of Tulsa, Tulsa County and the surrounding metro area (Bixby, Broken Arrow, Collinsville, Glenpool, Jenks, Owasso, Sand Springs, Sapulpa and Skiatook) have implemented the new feature.

Osage County has also implemented the feature, while Rogers County will get an upgrade to its existing text system.

Ben Abrams is a news reporter and All Things Considered host for KWGS.
Check out all of Ben's links and contact info here.